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Future urban-rural relationship in China: comparison in a global context


  • Yuheng Li
  • Hans Westlund
  • Göran Cars


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to make a general comparison between urban-rural relationship in China and that in the developed countries, aiming to draw some experiences based on which future tendencies of urban-rural relationship in China could be predicted. Design/methodology/approach - The core analysis of this paper examines how the urban-rural relationship develops especially when urbanization rate reaches a very high level. Through literature review, this paper explores the evolution of urban-rural relationship in developed nations by referring to some international cities in different industrial stages. In parallel, it goes through this relationship in China from 1949 until now. Findings - This paper shows that future urbanization development in China will be generated largely by rural-urban migration especially the eastern-inclined migration while rural industrialization-lead urbanization would develop at the provincial level. It also points that education and training to the labor force is the crucial issue to future urbanization development in China. Originality/value - The obvious value of this paper is to predict, through a historical review and comparison, urban-rural relationship in China when it is approaching to high urbanization level. Literature review finds some experiences in developed countries that will somehow take place in China. It also analyzes the eastern-oriented rural-urban migration, rural industrialization and their influence on urban-rural relationship in China.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuheng Li & Hans Westlund & Göran Cars, 2010. "Future urban-rural relationship in China: comparison in a global context," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(4), pages 396-411, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:caerpp:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:396-411

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chen, Jian & Fleisher, Belton M., 1996. "Regional Income Inequality and Economic Growth in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 141-164, April.
    2. Alana Gilbert & Euan Phimister & Ioannis Theodossiou, 2003. "Low Pay and Income in Urban and Rural Areas: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 40(7), pages 1207-1222, June.
    3. A.G. Champion, 2001. "A Changing Demographic Regime and Evolving Poly centric Urban Regions: Consequences for the Size, Composition and Distribution of City Populations," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 38(4), pages 657-677, April.
    4. Eddy LEE & Marco VIVARELLI, 2006. "The social impact of globalization in the developing countries," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 145(3), pages 167-184, September.
    5. Zhang, Wei, 2001. "Rethinking Regional Disparity in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 34(1-2), pages 113-138.
    6. Edward M. Graham & Erika Wada, 2001. "Foreign Direct Investment in China: Effects on Growth and Economic Performance," Working Paper Series WP01-3, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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