Multiscale Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Economic Development in an Interprovincial Boundary Region: Junction Area of Tibetan Plateau, Hengduan Mountain, Yungui Plateau and Sichuan Basin, Southwestern China Case
An interprovincial boundary region is a new subject of economic disparity study in China. This study explored the multi-scale spatio-temporal dynamics of economic development from 1995 to 2010 in the interprovincial boundary region of Sichuan-Yunnan-Guizhou, a mountain area and also the junction area of Tibetan Plateau, Hengduan Mountain, Yungui Plateau and Sichuan Basin in southwestern China. A quantitative study on county GDP per capita for different scales of administrative regions was conducted using the Theil index, Markov chains, a geographic information system and exploratory spatial data analysis. Results indicated that the economic disparity was closely related with geographical unit scale in the study area: the smaller the unit, the bigger the disparity, and the regional inequality gradually weakened over time. Moreover, significant positive spatial autocorrelation and clustering of economic development were also found. The spatial pattern of economic development presented approximate circle structure with two cores in the southwest and northeast. The Panxi region in the southwest core and a part of Hilly Sichuan Basin in the northeast core were considered to be hot spots of economic development. Most areas in the east and central region were persistently trapped in the low level of a balanced development state, with a poverty trap being formed in the central and south part. Geographical conditions and location, administrative barriers and the lack of effective growth poles may be the main reasons for the entire low level of balanced development. Our findings suggest that in order to achieve a high level of balanced development, attention should be paid beyond developing transportation and other infrastructure. Breaking down the rigid shackles of administrative districts that hinder trans-provincial cooperation and promoting new regional poles in the Yunnan-Guizhou region may have great significance for the study area.
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