Spatial Inequality Between and Within Urban Areas: The Case of Israeli Cities

Shefer Daniel and Malka Antonio

Published in: European Planning Studies, Vol. 21, (3) 2013, pp. 373-387


Central areas enjoy greater efficiency in the production of goods and services than do outlying areas. Because of the inherent advantages of central areas over outlying areas, disparities among regions do not vanish over time. On the contrary, centripetal forces increase inequalities across space. The phenomena of increased globalization, trade liberalization and treaties among countries not only enable the flow of labour, products (export) and foreign direct investment but also help reduce spatial inequality between countries. These phenomena also induce greater spatial economic concentration within a country. Thus, although disparities among countries decrease, a widening gap is observed between regions within countries and within large urban areas. In the empirical part, we analyse the general patterns of spatial inequality found among 55 localities in Israel with population size over 20,000. Looking at the spatial inequality relationship, both within and between cities in Israel, we show how all economic indicators measured, including inequality, decrease with distance from the core. Localities in the periphery that experience greater equality also experience lower average income, lower education, less self-employment and more unemployment.