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The spatial persistence of population and wealth during apartheid: comparing the 1911 and 2011 censuses

8 September 2014
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: N97, R12

This article examines the spatial distribution of people and wealth in South Africa over the period 1911 to 2011. Economic development is typically characterised by agglomeration, but Apartheid policies tried to separate people and disperse economic activity. Zipf’s Law is used to examine the balance of these forces. The results show that Apartheid’s interventions could not stop agglomeration, which seems to have continued to the point of over-concentration today. Wealth has become increasingly concentrated in places of initial white settlement and the large urban agglomerations.

Series title: Working paper 459
1 September 2014
Journal: Economic History of Developing Regions
1 October 2014
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