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Industrial development policies and performances in Southern China: Beyond the specialised industrial cluster program

Listed author(s):
  • Barbieri, Elisa
  • Di Tommaso, Marco R.
  • Bonnini, Stefano

The paper offers an updated picture of the policies implemented by the government of the Guangdong Province (China) to foster the industrial development and the technological upgrading of its territories. Among these policies is the promotion and the institutional acknowledgement of a growing number of industrial clusters, defined as “Specialised Towns”, characterized by a high spatial concentration of firms producing one specific item (or a limited range of similar products). In the view of the provincial and local governments these types of industrial development programs are used to increase firm agglomerations, spatial concentration and visibility, which in turn leads to increased specialisation, industrial output, innovation and economic growth. However, little specific empirical evidence has been collected to support this view and the debate, at the national and international level, on the effectiveness of such interventions seems to be still largely ideological. The paper offers a contribution in this sense by offering a detailed description of the policy tools, by suggesting synthetic indexes to quantify policy efforts and industrial performances in Guangdong territories and by providing a first statistical analysis of these indexes.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 23 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 613-625

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Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:23:y:2012:i:3:p:613-625
DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2010.12.005
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  1. Elisa Barbieri & Marco Di Tommaso & Lauretta Rubini, 2009. "Industrial development policies in southern China: the specialised towns programme," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 36(3), pages 179-198.
  2. Ge, Wei, 1999. "Special Economic Zones and the Opening of the Chinese Economy: Some Lessons for Economic Liberalization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1267-1285, July.
  3. Demurger, Sylvie & Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Woo, Wing Thye & BAO, Shuming & Chang, Gene, 2002. "The relative contributions of location and preferential policies in China's regional development: being in the right place and having the right incentives," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 444-465, December.
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