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Productivity and Agglomeration Economies in Chinese Cities

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  • Zelai Xu

    () ([1] CEMA, Central University of Finance and Economics, No. 39 College South Road, Beijing 100081, P.R. China[2] China-Africa Development Fund, No. 28 Fuxingmennei Street, Beijing 100031, P.R. China.)

Abstract

I test the existence of agglomeration economies in Chinese cities by evaluating the impact of population size and density on urban productivity. Based on panel data of about 150 Chinese cities during the 1990s, I find an inverted U-shaped relationship between city size and productivity as well as a positive effect of population density on urban productivity. The estimated city size corresponding to the peak point of labour productivity ranges between 3 and 4 million, which implies that most cities in our sample are not large enough to fully exploit productivity advantages associated with agglomeration economies. Comparative Economic Studies (2009) 51, 284–301. doi:10.1057/ces.2008.43; published online 21 May 2009

Suggested Citation

  • Zelai Xu, 2009. "Productivity and Agglomeration Economies in Chinese Cities," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 51(3), pages 284-301, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:compes:v:51:y:2009:i:3:p:284-301
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Sylvie Démurger & Shi Li, 2013. "Urbanisation and Migration Externalities in China," Working Papers 1303, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    2. Chauvin, Juan Pablo & Glaeser, Edward & Ma, Yueran & Tobio, Kristina, 2017. "What is different about urbanization in rich and poor countries? Cities in Brazil, China, India and the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 17-49.
    3. Riccardo Crescenzi & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2012. "An ‘Integrated’ Framework For The Comparative Analysis Of The Territorial Innovation Dynamics Of Developed And Emerging Countries," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 517-533, July.
    4. Li, Chao & Gibson, John, 2015. "City scale and productivity in China," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 86-90.
    5. Chao Li & John Gibson, 2014. "Agglomeration Economies in China: Locations and Effects," Working Papers in Economics 14/02, University of Waikato.
    6. repec:spr:anresc:v:59:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00168-017-0839-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Chao Li & John Gibson, 2016. "Pareto's Law and City Size in China: Diverging Patterns in Land and People," Working Papers in Economics 16/09, University of Waikato.

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