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Rethinking Regional Disparity in China

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  • Zhang, Wei

Abstract

Income disparities in China decreased both across provinces and across three transprovincial areas from 1978 through 1984. After 1984 there was an increase in disparity across the three areas, but there was no change across provinces. The faster growth of the coastal area can be attributed to the growth of the previously relatively poorer areas of the eastern seaboard. But this was not realised at the cost of growth in other areas; instead it contributed to overall national economic growth. International trade and foreign direct investment are the main driving forces behind the changes in regional disparity. The reasons for the concentration of trade and foreign investment in the coastal area are its inherent comparative advantage in terms of lower labour costs, better infrastructure facilities, close relations with overseas Chinese, favourable geographic location, as well as national industrial policies that protect the domestic market from foreign investment. The central government's preferential policies towards the costal area were a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for such a concentration of foreign trade and investment. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Wei, 2001. "Rethinking Regional Disparity in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 34(1-2), pages 113-138.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ecopln:v:34:y:2001:i:1-2:p:113-38
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    Cited by:

    1. Guangdong Li & Chuanglin Fang, 2014. "Analyzing the multi-mechanism of regional inequality in China," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 52(1), pages 155-182, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Xubei Luo & Nong Zhu & Heng-fu Zou, 2014. "China's Lagging Region Development And Targeted Transportation Infrastructure Investments," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(1), pages 157-200, May.
    4. Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2008. "Do Elections Slow Down Economic Globalization Process In India? It’S Politics Stupid !," MPRA Paper 10139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Xiaoyun Liu & Xiuqing Wang & Xian Xin, 2012. "Did agricultural technological changes affect China's regional disparity?," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(4), pages 440-449, November.
    6. Peng Zhang & Mann Xu, 2011. "The View from the County: China's Regional Inequalities of Socio-Economic Development," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 12(1), pages 183-198, May.
    7. Euijune Kim & Euijune Kim & Sung Woong Hong & Soo Jung Ha, 2003. "Impacts of national development and decentralization policies on regional income disparity in Korea," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 37(1), pages 79-91, February.
    8. Catin, Maurice & Luo, Xubei & Van Huffel, Christophe, 2005. "Openness, industrialization, and geographic concentration of activities in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3706, The World Bank.
    9. Gunby, Philip & Jin, Yinghua & Robert Reed, W., 2017. "Did FDI Really Cause Chinese Economic Growth? A Meta-Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 242-255.
    10. 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.
    11. Mischke, Peggy & Xiong, Weiming, 2015. "Mapping and benchmarking regional disparities in China’s energy supply, transformation, and end-use in 2010," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 359-369.
    12. Maurice Catin & Christophe Van Huffel, 2004. "Ouverture économique et inégalités régionales de développement en Chine : le rôle des institutions," Mondes en développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 128(4), pages 7-23.
    13. Sakamoto, Hiroshi & Islam, Nazrul, 2008. "Convergence across Chinese provinces: An analysis using Markov transition matrix," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 66-79, March.
    14. Fu, Xiaolan, 2004. "Limited linkages from growth engines and regional disparities in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 148-164, March.

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