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On the road to prosperity ? The economic geography of China's national expressway network

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Author Info

  • Roberts, Mark
  • Deichmann, Uwe
  • Fingleton, Bernard
  • Shi, Tuo

Abstract

Over the past two decades, China has embarked on an ambitious program of expressway network expansion. By facilitating market integration, this program aims both to promote efficiency at the national level and to contribute to the catch-up of lagging inland regions with prosperous Eastern ones. This paper evaluates the aggregate and spatial economic impacts of China's newly constructed National Expressway Network, focussing, in particular, on its short-run impacts. To achieve this aim, the authors adopt a counterfactual approach based on the estimation and simulation of a structural"new economic geography"model. Overall, they find that aggregate Chinese real income was approximately 6 percent higher than it would have been in 2007 had the expressway network not been built. Although there is considerable heterogeneity in the results, the authors do not find evidence of a significant reduction in disparities across prefectural level regions or of a reduction in urban-rural disparities. If anything, the expressway network appears to have reinforced existing patterns of spatial inequality, although, over time, these will likely be reduced by enhanced migration.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5479.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5479

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Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Economic Theory&Research; Labor Policies; Roads&Highways; Regional Economic Development;

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References

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  1. Chandra, Amitabh & Thompson, Eric, 2000. "Does public infrastructure affect economic activity?: Evidence from the rural interstate highway system," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 457-490, July.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. On the road: understanding the benefits from infrastructure investment
    by Straub in Stephane Straub on 2012-06-10 13:10:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Justin Yifu Lin & Doerte Doemeland, 2012. "Beyond Keynesianism: Global Infrastructure Investments In Times Of Crisis," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(03), pages 1250015-1-1.
  2. Roberts, Mark & Deichmann, Uwe & Fingleton, Bernard & Shi, Tuo, 2012. "Evaluating China's road to prosperity: A new economic geography approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 580-594.
  3. Fabrizio Barca & Philip McCann & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2011. "The case for regional development intervention: Place-based versus place-neutral approaches," Working Papers 2011-15, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.

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