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Local Officials as Land Developers: Urban Spatial Expansion in China

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  • Lichtenberg, Erik
  • Ding, Chengri

Abstract

We investigate conceptually and empirically the role of economic incentives in the primary land allocation in China in recent years. A theoretical analysis demonstrates how recent fiscal and governance reforms give rise to land conversion decisions and long run urban spatial sizes much like those generated by competitive land markets with private land ownership. An econometric investigation of Shanghai and the provinces surrounding it demonstrates the presence of rent gradients, often used as an indication of the presence of land markets. It thus appears that economic forces have continued to exercise dominant influence over primary land allocations in spite of recent administrative restrictions on land conversion. These rent gradients are strongest in the most economically developed portions of the study region and weakest in the least economically developed. Urban land values exceed agricultural land values by a considerable margin, suggesting that rates of urbanization will continue to be rapid. The estimated rent gradients also suggest that much of this region will eventually become completely urbanized.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 6834.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ags:umdrwp:6834

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Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development; Land Economics/Use; R5; R14; H11; O18;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Fan, Shenggen & Li, Lixing & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2012. "Challenges of creating cities in China: Lessons from a short-lived county-to-city upgrading policy," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 476-491.
  2. Li, Lixing, 2008. "The Incentive Role of Creating "Cities" in China," MPRA Paper 8594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 2009. "Urban Economics and Entrepreneurship," NBER Working Papers 15536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Feng, Juan & Lichtenberg, Erik & Ding, Chengri, 2013. "Balancing Act: Economic Incentives, Administrative Restrictions, And Urban Land Expansion In China," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149669, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  5. Mototsugu Fukushige & Yingxin Shi, 2014. "Efficient Scale of Local Government in China: Quantile Regression Approach to County-Level Data," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-15, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).

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