Bangladesh population

Experts: overloading Dhaka-based population leads to 6% drop in GDP

“The cost of traffic jams amounted to 2 to 3% of the GDP”

Over-concentrated development and overflowing population in the capital have had a severe impact on Bangladesh’s gross domestic product (GDP), even slashing its growth by 6 percent or more, experts said at a conference recently.

The findings were revealed during an article presentation at an annual conference hosted by the Bangladesh Institute for Development Studies (BIDS) last week.

Ahmad Ahsan of the Bangladesh Policy Research Institute (PRI) made the remark during his presentation, adding that overloading also impacts overall urban development, while causing traffic congestion and pollution.

The cost of traffic jams amounted to 2 to 3% of GDP in direct effects. The growth of the city creates a proliferation of primates, concentrating population and development in the center of the city, he also said.


Read also – OP-ED: GDP growth is not a numbers game


Ahsan, also a former senior economist at the World Bank, said the proliferation of primates (the largest city) can undermine the growth of other cities and cities can proliferate due to market failures resulting from fixed costs and externalities. flat-rate investments, network effects and circular cumulative causality.

He also said that migration, which greatly improves well-being, also has limits, even in advanced economies.

He shared data from the World Development Index which shows the urban population share of the primate city in Bangladesh is 31.9%, or 3% in China, 6% in India, 7.4% in Indonesia, 22.6% in Pakistan and 23.2% in Vietnam.

He cited another article by Mohammad Yunus, principal researcher at BIDS, which shows a gap between the east and the west of the country in per capita consumption by estimating income, poverty and inequality in the two regions.

The economist said the disparities could not narrow the gap between cities, adding that poverty is much more acute in the western districts than in the eastern districts.

He cited a survey of household income and expenditure in which western districts appear to experience greater convergence of poverty measures than eastern districts by one percent, which he said. whether the poverty rate, the poverty gap or the squared poverty gap.


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