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A Core-Periphery Model of Urban Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence using Chinese City-Level Data, 1990-2006

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  • Zhao Chen
  • Ming Lu
  • Zheng Xu
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    Abstract

    The core-periphery (CP) model of urban systems lacks evidence from real data for the nonlinear relationship between distance to core and market potential. China remains in the process of industrialization and globalization, thereby making it suitable for practical application of the CP model of urban systems. Using Chinese city-level data from 1990 to 2006, this paper estimates the impact of spatial interactions in China's urban system on urban economic growth, and fills the gap between CP model of urban systems and reality. Our results show that a proximity to major ports and international markets is essential for urban growth. Moreover, the geography-growth relationship follows the U-shaped nonlinear pattern implied by the CP model in a monocentric urban system. We also find "border effect" in the administrative boundaries between Chinese provinces. As a centrifugal force, this prevents the absorption of urban economic activities by large cities in other provinces.

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    File URL: http://gcoe.ier.hit-u.ac.jp/research/discussion/2008/pdf/gd11-206.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series with number gd11-206.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd11-206

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    Keywords: Core-Periphery Model; Urban Systems; Trade Policy; China;

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    1. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1997. "Structural stability and evolution of urban systems," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 399-442, August.
    2. Clarke, George R. G., 1992. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1064, The World Bank.
    3. Chun-Chung Au & Vernon Henderson, 2002. "How Migration Restrictions Limit Agglomeration and Productivity in China," NBER Working Papers 8707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bao, Shuming & Chang, Gene Hsin & Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Woo, Wing Thye, 2002. "Geographic factors and China's regional development under market reforms, 1978-1998," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 89-111.
    5. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1996. "The role of ports in the making of major cities: Self-agglomeration and hub-effect," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 93-120, April.
    6. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul & Mori, Tomoya, 1999. "On the evolution of hierarchical urban systems1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 209-251, February.
    7. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Explaining the Border Effect: The Role of Exchange Rate Variability, Shipping Costs, and Geography," NBER Working Papers 7836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Combes, Pierre-Philippe, 2000. "Economic Structure and Local Growth: France, 1984-1993," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 329-355, May.
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