by: David de Ferranti, Guillermo E. Perry, Daniel Lederman, William Foster, Alberto Valdes
In Latin American and Caribbean history, rural societies have been
at the center of both the origins of prosperity and of social upheaval.
Rural communities have access to a wealth of natural resources,
including arable land and forests, yet they face the highest poverty
rates within countries. Characterized by low population densities and
located far from the major urban centers, rural communities must
overcome severe restrictions in their access to public services and
private markets, even in some countries where public expenditures per
inhabitant are higher in rural than in urban communities.
Beyond the City evaluates the contribution of rural
development and policies to growth, poverty alleviation, and
environmental degradation in the rest of the economy, as well as in the
rural space. This title brings together new theoretical and empirical
treatments of the links between rural and national development. New
findings and are combined with existing literature to enhance our
understanding of the how rural economic activities contribute to
various aspects of national development. The study is based on original
research funded by the World Bank's Office of the Chief Economist
for Latin America and the Caribbean. Of particular relevance is the
interaction between agricultural and territorial development issues.
The empirical findings also make substantial contributions to the
debate over the appropriate design of public policies aiming to enhance
the rural contribution to national development, including economic
growth, poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, and
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