IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/gam/jsusta/v8y2016i7p651-d73614.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Spatial and Temporal Evolution of Urban Systems in China during Rapid Urbanization

Author

Listed:
  • Huan Li

    () (Collaborative Innovation Center for China Economy, School of Economics, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China)

  • Yehua Dennis Wei

    () (Key Research Institute of Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development & Collaborative Innovation Center on Yellow River Civilization of Henan Province, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, China
    Department of Geography, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9155, USA)

  • Yuemin Ning

    () (Centre for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China)

Abstract

The structure of urban hierarchy and the role of cities of different sizes have drawn considerable scholarly interests and societal concerns. This paper analyzes the evolution and underlying mechanisms of urban hierarchy in China during the recent period of rapid urbanization. By comparing scale changes of seven types of cities (megacity, large city, Type I big city, Type II big city, medium-sized city, type I small city and type II small city), we find that allometry is the main characteristic of urban hierarchical evolution in China. We also test the validity of Zipf’s law and Gibrat’s law, which broaden the scope of existing studies by including county-level cities. We find that urban hierarchical distribution is lognormal, rather than Pareto. The result also shows that city size growth rates are constant across cities of different types. For better understanding of the mechanisms of urban hierarchical formation, we measure the optimal city size and resource allocation by the Pareto optimality criterion and non-parametric frontier method. The main findings are as follows: (1) scale efficiency is still at a relatively low level among the seven types of cities; (2) the economic efficiency of megacities and large cities is overestimated when compared to economic-environmental efficiency. Hence, this paper has two policy implications: (1) to correct factor market (land, labor and infrastructure investment) distortions among different types of cities for the improvement of efficiency; (2) to strengthen rural property rights to improve social equity, as well as land use intensity.

Suggested Citation

  • Huan Li & Yehua Dennis Wei & Yuemin Ning, 2016. "Spatial and Temporal Evolution of Urban Systems in China during Rapid Urbanization," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-17, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:7:p:651-:d:73614
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/8/7/651/pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/8/7/651/
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Urban Structure and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 597-624.
    2. Zelai Xu & Nong Zhu, 2009. "City Size Distribution in China: Are Large Cities Dominant?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 46(10), pages 2159-2185, September.
    3. Ali, Agha Iqbal & Lerme, Catherine S. & Seiford, Lawrence M., 1995. "Components of efficiency evaluation in data envelopment analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 462-473, February.
    4. Rong Tan & Rongyu Wang & Thomas Sedlin, 2014. "Land-Development Offset Policies in the Quest for Sustainability: What Can China Learn from Germany?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(6), pages 1-31, May.
    5. W. Cooper & Shanling Li & L. Seiford & Kaoru Tone & R. Thrall & J. Zhu, 2001. "Sensitivity and Stability Analysis in DEA: Some Recent Developments," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 217-246, May.
    6. Anderson, Gordon & Ge, Ying, 2005. "The size distribution of Chinese cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 756-776, November.
    7. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Input, and Productivity Using Superlative Index Numbers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 73-86, March.
    8. Terry Sicular & Yue Ximing & Björn Gustafsson & Li Shi, 2007. "The Urban-Rural Income Gap And Inequality In China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(1), pages 93-126, March.
    9. Rosen, Kenneth T. & Resnick, Mitchel, 1980. "The size distribution of cities: An examination of the Pareto law and primacy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 165-186, September.
    10. Wang, Ke & Wei, Yi-Ming & Zhang, Xian, 2013. "Energy and emissions efficiency patterns of Chinese regions: A multi-directional efficiency analysis," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 105-116.
    11. Fukuyama, Hirofumi & Weber, William L., 2009. "A directional slacks-based measure of technical inefficiency," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 274-287, December.
    12. Haiyan Zhang & Michinori Uwasu & Keishiro Hara & Helmut Yabar, 2011. "Sustainable Urban Development and Land Use Change—A Case Study of the Yangtze River Delta in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(7), pages 1-16, July.
    13. Chengri Ding & Xingshuo Zhao, 2011. "Assessment of Urban Spatial-Growth Patterns in China During Rapid Urbanization," Chinese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 46-71, January.
    14. Yunqiang Liu & Jiuping Xu & Huawei Luo, 2014. "An Integrated Approach to Modelling the Economy-Society-Ecology System in Urbanization Process," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-27, April.
    15. Chen Zeng & Sanwei He & Jiaxing Cui, 2014. "A Multi-Level and Multi-Dimensional Measuring on Urban Sprawl: A Case Study in Wuhan Metropolitan Area, Central China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(6), pages 1-28, June.
    16. Bee, Marco & Riccaboni, Massimo & Schiavo, Stefano, 2013. "The size distribution of US cities: Not Pareto, even in the tail," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 232-237.
    17. Michel Dimou & Alexandra Schaffar, 2009. "Urban Hierarchies and City Growth in the Balkans," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 46(13), pages 2891-2906, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1600-:d:111361 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:7:p:1110-:d:102679 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:ris:apltrx:0333 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    urban hierarchy; Zipf’s law; Gibrat’s law; total-factor productivity; China;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:7:p:651-:d:73614. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team). General contact details of provider: http://www.mdpi.com/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.