Cities and Economic Development: From the Dawn of History to the Present / Edition 1

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When and how were cities born? Does urbanization foster innovation and economic development? What was the level of urbanization in traditional societies? Did the Industrial Revolution facilitate urbanization? Has the growth of cities in the Third World been a handicap or an asset to economic development?

In this revised translation of De Jéricho à Mexico, Paul Bairoch seeks the answers to these questions and provides a comprehensive study of the evolution of the city and its relation to economic life. Bairoch examines the development of cities from the dawn of urbanization (Jericho) to the explosive growth of the contemporary Third World city. In particular, he defines the roles of agriculture and industrialization in the rise of cities.

"A hefty history, from the Neolithic onward. It's ambitious in scope and rich in subject, detailing urbanization and, of course, the links between cities and economies. Scholarly, accessible, and significant."—Newsday

"This book offers a path-breaking synthesis of the vast literature on the history of urbanization."—John C. Brown, Journal of Economic Literature

"One leaves this volume with the feeling of positions intelligently argued and related to the existing state of theory and knowledge. One also has the pleasure of reading a book unusually well-written. It will long both be a standard and stimulate new thought on the central issue of urban and economic growth."—Thomas A. Reiner, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

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Editorial Reviews

Bairoch (economics, U. of Geneva) considers in what respects the rise of cities crucially depends at first on the state of agriculture and later on the state of industrialization in the economic communities in which they reside. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226034669
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1991
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 596
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
The Reasons for the Book
The Contents of the Book
Plan of the Book


1 The Birth of Urbanism and the Economy

2 The Urban Revolution: Its Beginnings in the Middle East

3 The Beginnings of Urbanization in Asia

4 The Beginnings of Urbanization in Black Africa and the New World

5 Athens and Rome-Two Very Different Civilizations: The Sources of European Urbanization?

6 The Beginnings of Urbanization: The Relations between Agriculture, Civilization, the Economy, and Cities


7 Europe from the Fifth Century to the Tenth Century: A Period of Transition Marked by Declines and Renaissances

8 Europe from the Eleventh Century to the Eighteenth

9 Cities-Their Locations, Spheres of Influence, Size, and Economic Functions: A Few General Remarks on Matters of Method

10 The Surge of Urban Growth in Medieval Europe

11 European Cities from the Sixteenth Century to the Eighteenth Century

12 Urbanization and Development in Europe before the Industrial Revolution: 1000-1700


13 Urbanism in Developed Countries: 1700-1980

14 Urban Demography in Developed Countries from the Eighteenth Century to the Twentieth Century

15 The City and the First Phases of the Industrial Revolution in England

16 Urbanization and the Diffusion of the Industrial Revolution

17 Industrialization and the Cities in the Western World in the Nineteenth Century

18 Urbanization in the Developed World in the Nineteenth Century

19 Urbanization in the Developed World in the Twentieth Century

20 Technological Innovation and the City

21 Urbanization 'and Economic Development in Countries Affected by the Industrial Revolution


22 The Cities of Asia: Socioeconomic Systems Different from Those of Europe

23 Urbanism in the Middle East and the Maghreb before the Nineteenth Century

24 Traditional Colonization and Urbanization: From 1490-1530 to 1780-1815

25 Modern Colonization and Urbanization in Asia and the Maghreb from 1780/1815 to 1930/40

26 Modern Colonization and Urbanization in Black Africa and Latin America from 1780/1815 to 1930/40

27 The Urban Explosion in the Third World during the Twentieth Century

28 The Causes of the Urban Explosion in the Third World

29 The Consequences of the Urban Explosion in the Third World

30 Urbanization and Economic Development in the Third World

31 Conclusions

Appendix: Methodology and Sources

Classified Bibliography



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