Mathematical model showing how socioeconomic dynamics in African cities could widen or reduce inequality

SOURCE: African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2019
TITLE AUTHOR(S): O.C.Collins, T.S.Simelane, K.J.Duffy
KEYWORDS: CITIES, INEQUALITY, INNOVATION
DEPARTMENT: African Institute of South Africa (AISA)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10890

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Abstract

Cities are important forces of national socioeconomic development. Individuals in cities often belong to different socioeconomic statuses depending on their levels of income, education and nature of occupation. Income, employment and education opportunities are among the main attractions of most cities. In this study, we investigate the impact of socioeconomic status on city attractiveness for the African cities of Windhoek, Harare, Lusaka, Kinshasa and Nairobi. The socioeconomic status of samples of individuals in these cities are used to formulate a mathematical model that describes the city population dynamics. Using income as a measure, qualitative analyses of the model together with numerical simulations using survey data show how competitive relationships among the various socioeconomic status groups could widen inequality over time. Alternatively, synergetic relationships among the various socioeconomic groups could reduce this inequality. These results point to urban planning that encourages synergism between the different income classes with the aim of reducing inequality.