Urban bias has been presented as a major impediment to rural development because it perpetrates discriminatory policies which create and perpetuate disparities between urban and rural areas and consequently the development of urban areas at the expense of rural areas. This paper examines how urban bias, to a large extent, is the major impediment to rural development owing to its skewed policies and to down development approaches.
Urban bias proponents, chief among them Lipton (1977), argue that many underdeveloped nations implement investment, tax, pricing, and other policies which disproportionately favour urban areas at the expense of rural areas. The state enacts such policies because of pressure from elitist urban-based groups such
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Low levels of education affect the capacity to understand development efforts and innovative technologies that may present new life opportunities for rural people (Zhang, 2009). The rural poor, who are illiterate, have little chance of making use of new improved production technologies and preventive health services (McLaughlin, 1986). Lack of education for rural people is a crucial reason that contributes to the imbalance in social and economic development in China (Zhang, 2009). The current educational resource disparities between rural and urban area resulted from its long-term educational policies. While the state is the primary financial supporter for urban children, rural children have been, for the most part, left to the sponsorship of their families and local collectivities (villages, townships and counties) (Zhang, 2009).
Another major cause of stunted development in rural areas is the cycle of poverty which dominates in the rural areas (Francis, 2000). Poverty is caused by a set of interrelated conditions that reinforce each other and trap people in poverty. Owing to a lack of resources, a lack of entitlement or a lack of information, or because the infrastructure and services are simply not available, the poor do not have access to essential infrastructure and services (Barro, 2000). As a consequence, they usually have little or no education and are not in good health. This limits their ability to find work and earn an adequate income, which in