On one side, according to the WDR09, the place where a person is born is a critical determinant of their welfare and therefore inherent spatial disparities exist that result in “geographically disadvantaged people” (WDR,2009:xiii). For example:
In the next few decades, a person born in the United States will earn a hundred times more than a Zambian, and live three decades longer…The best predictor of income in the world today is not what or whom you know, but where you work. (WDR 2009:1)
With a focus on economic development, the WDR09 states that locations with high levels of economic activity benefit peoplemore and that fomenting migration to these places would boost economic growth for all. Urbanisation, mobility and cooperation agreements have stimulated progress in the developed world through the principle of “economic integration”. To repeat this success, it is required that developing countries detect the market factors and policies that best reinforce this strategy. The WDR09 calls on thesecountries to “re-shape” economic geography in the most important dimensions (3-D) of development namely density, distance and division. In these “spatial transformation”, the report identifies the role of the drivers of spatial development and the importance of the correct policies to make economic success possible. The principal message of the report is that “economic growth will be unbalanced, butdevelopment can still be inclusive” (WDR, 2009).
The WDR09 is divided in three parts. In Part I, the 3-D of development is examined stressing specific changes to confront the uneven spatial distribution of economic activity and to stimulate growth in an unavoidable spatial concentration. Spatial disparities are examined through the lens of urbanization as a source of economic growth andpoverty reduction. In this sense, the report claims that principal inequalities exist between rural and urban areas, and that the level to which a region develops the movement of people from rural to urban areas determines their expected economic activity. This fosters a higher density of economic activity and should not be restricted. Despite initial divergence in living standards, the WDR09 explainsthat those will be regulated over the course of economic development. In addition, other important disadvantages among regions should be taken into account for example the distance between economic agents and markets that will directly affect economic activity of regions and should be reduced to improve growth concentration and also certain divisions that restrict the positive impacts fromagglomeration inside and outside countries. These boundaries, such regional borders, lack of cooperation to the flow of goods, trade barriers as different currencies or “conflictive neighbors” among others, affect the rise of scale economies (WDR, 2009).
In Part II, an analysis is made of the weight of agglomeration, mobility and integration of markets for spatial transformation. The report arguesthat agglomeration attracts people into these places with concentrated production, manifested in urbanization, as an effort to achieve a better income, to shorten distance to economic density and to participate from the benefits of proximity. In this sense, people select a place to move to in relation to its capacity for production and countries should support labor mobility in order to prosper....