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Growth, population and industrialization, and urban land expansion of China

  • Deng, Xiangzheng
  • Huang, Jikun
  • Rozelle, Scott
  • Uchida, Emi

China is experiencing urbanization at an unprecedented rate over the last two decades. The overall goal of this paper is to understand the extent of and the factors driving urban expansion in China from the late 1980s to 2000. We use a unique three-period panel data set of high-resolution satellite imagery data and socioeconomic data for entire area of coterminous China. Consistent with a number of the key hypotheses generated by the monocentric model, our results demonstrate the powerful role that the growth of income has played in China's urban expansion. In some empirical models, the other key variables in the monocentric model--population, the value of agricultural land and transportation costs--also matter. Adapting the basic empirical model to account for the environment in developing countries, we also find that industrialization and the rise of the service sector appear to have affected the growth of the urban core, but their role was relatively small when compared to the direct effects of economic growth. We also make a methodological contribution, demonstrating the potential importance of accounting for unobserved fixed effects.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 63 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 96-115

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:63:y:2008:i:1:p:96-115
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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  1. Petrakos, George, 1989. "Urbanization and international trade in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(8), pages 1269-1277, August.
  2. Brueckner, Jan K & Fansler, David A, 1983. "The Economics of Urban Sprawl: Theory and Evidence on the Spatial Sizes of Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 479-82, August.
  3. Karen C. Seto & Robert K. Kaufmann, 2003. "Modeling the Drivers of Urban Land Use Change in the Pearl River Delta, China: Integrating Remote Sensing with Socioeconomic Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(1), pages 106-121.
  4. Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2006. "Causes of Sprawl: A Portrait from Space," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 587-633, May.
  5. McGrath, Daniel T., 2005. "More evidence on the spatial scale of cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-10, July.
  6. Wheaton, William C., 1974. "A comparative static analysis of urban spatial structure," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 223-237, October.
  7. Sato, Yasuhiro & Yamamoto, Kazuhiro, 2005. "Population concentration, urbanization, and demographic transition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 45-61, July.
  8. McDonald, John F., 1987. "The identification of urban employment subcenters," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 242-258, March.
  9. Fujita, Masahisa & Ogawa, Hideaki, 1982. "Multiple equilibria and structural transition of non-monocentric urban configurations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 161-196, May.
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