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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. Giuseppe De Arcangelis & Giordano Mion, 2002. "Spatial Externalities and Empirical Analysis: The case of Italy," series 0006, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici - Università di Bari, revised Jan 2002.
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  17. Shirley, Chad & Winston, Clifford, 2004. "Firm inventory behavior and the returns from highway infrastructure investments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 398-415, March.
  18. Bernard Fingleton & Julie Le Gallo, 2008. "Estimating spatial models with endogenous variables, a spatial lag and spatially dependent disturbances: Finite sample properties," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(3), pages 319-339, 08.
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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
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Cited by:
  1. Fabrizio Barca & Philip McCann & Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose, 2012. "The Case For Regional Development Intervention: Place‐Based Versus Place‐Neutral Approaches," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 134-152, 02.
  2. Lin, Justin Yifu & Doemeland, Doerte, 2012. "Beyond Keynesianism : global infrastructure investments in times of crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5940, The World Bank.
  3. 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.

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