Growth and inclusion trajectories of Colombian functional territories

We describe the patterns of economic growth and social progress in Colombian “functional territories". Unlike political/administrative divisions that emerge at least partly for historical reasons unrelated to economic interactions, functional territories reflect the patterns of spatial agglomeration and economic interactions in a territory. Using a novel definition of functional territories, our analysis reveals significant fragmentation of economic interactions: close to 66% of municipalities (holding about 20% of the country's population) have no significant links to neighboring areas. A set of comparatively more (but still only partially) integrated and more populous municipalities have stronger links between them. This “rural-urban" space holds just around 31% of total population. The rest of Colombians are in “urban" or “Metropolitan" highly-populated and more integrated clusters. We describe these territories along two dimensions: economic growth or “dynamism" and progress in social indicators or “inclusion". To do so we propose a simple conceptual framework that organizes the diverse inputs that might help boost these outcomes. Larger and more urbanized agglomerations exhibit visible advantages in these inputs. Moreover, long-run institutional determinants best help differentiate territories. Consistent with this, larger and more urbanized agglomera-tions have better outcomes, especially when measuring economic activity. Also, more dynamic places tend to be the more inclusive ones.