Geography, human capital and urbanization: A regional analysis

Matthias Flückiger*, Markus Ludwig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using subnationally representative data for 679 regions from 64 low- and middle-income countries, we document that geography, especially trade-related features, explains a substantial share of within-country variation in the level of human capital. We further show that a large part of the explanatory power can be attributed to the close interrelation between urbanization and concentration of human capital. These results bring together studies that identify human capital as an important determinant of regional development and the literature on economic geography that emphasizes geography's role in shaping the spatial distribution of urbanization and economic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-14
Number of pages5
JournalEconomics Letters
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2018


  • Geography
  • Human capital
  • Urbanization

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