Under apartheid, black South Africans were severely restricted in their choice of location, and many were forced to live in homelands. Once apartheid ended they were free to migrate, and given gravity, a town nearer to the homelands could be expected to receive a larger inﬂow of people than a town further away.
The authors use this exogenous variation to study the effect of migration on urbanisation and the distribution of population. In particular, they tested if the inﬂow of migrants led to displacement, path dependence (tendency of a past or traditional practice or preference to continue even if better alternatives are available), or agglomeration in the destination area. They found that exogenous population shock led to an increase of the urban relative to the rural population. These findings are consistent with standard models used in economic geography and migration literature, and suggest that migration created by outside factors can drive medium-run urbanization
This paper is a part of a Global Research Program on Spatial Development of Cities, funded by the Multi Donor Trust Fund on Sustainable Urbanization of the World Bank and supported by the UK Department for International Development
Jan David Bakker, Christopher Parsons, Ferdinand Rauch (2016) Urbanisation in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Urbanisation in Post-Apartheid South Africa