IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Analyzing the multi-mechanism of regional inequality in China

  • Guangdong Li


  • Chuanglin Fang


Registered author(s):

    This paper advances the multi-mechanism framework, integrates the GIS technology and spatial panel data models for analyzing regional inequality mechanism. Applying this integrated methodology, we investigate China’s regional inequality at the county level using a comprehensive panel dataset that includes socioeconomic, environmental, locational, policy and GIS data from 1992 to 2010. The results show that Chinese regional inequality at the county level has a non-stationary dynamic structure, mirroring global inequality and spatial autocorrelation. In addition, the spatial panel data models analysis reveals the relative influence of explanatory variables. The impact of essential productive factors on regional development is gradually fading. Industrialization and decentralization play the most important role. The influence of marketization on regional development is not clear. The expansion of urban built-up areas has exerted a strong influence on the uneven regional development. Policy and transportation factor plays an indispensable role in regional inequality. The analysis additionally recognizes that socioeconomic factors play a dominant role, beyond policy and location factors. The role of environmental factors appears to be masked. This paper suggests that more attention needs to be paid to micro-inequality to coordinate inter-county and intra-county inequality under the pressure of rapid industrialization, urbanization and modernization of agriculture. Given the pattern of economic development, deepening balanced development reforms, optimizing and upgrading the industrial structure might be effective ways to develop a more coordinated regional development structure in China at the county level. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Springer in its journal The Annals of Regional Science.

    Volume (Year): 52 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 155-182

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:52:y:2014:i:1:p:155-182
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Belton Fleisher & Haizheng Li & Min-Qiang Zhao, 2009. "Human Capital, Economic Growth, and Regional Inequality in China," Working Papers 09-01, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Kailei Wei & Shujie Yao & Aying Liu, 2009. "Foreign Direct Investment and Regional Inequality in China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 778-791, November.
    3. Rui HAO, 2007. "Sources of income differences across Chinese provinces during the reform period: a development accounting exercise," Working Papers 200723, CERDI.
    4. Jesús Crespo-Cuaresma & Gernot Doppelhofer & Martin Feldkircher, 2009. "The Determinants of Economic Growth in European Regions," CESifo Working Paper Series 2519, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose, 2012. "Trade and Regional Inequality," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 88(2), pages 109-136, 04.
    6. Michael Beenstock & Daniel Felsenstein, 2008. "Regional Heterogeneity, Conditional Convergence and Regional Inequality," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(4), pages 475-488.
    7. Yehua Dennis Wei & Danlin Yu & Xiaojing Chen, 2011. "Scale, Agglomeration, And Regional Inequality In Provincial China," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 102(4), pages 406-425, 09.
    8. Dapeng Hu & Masahisa Fujita, 2001. "Regional disparity in China 1985-1994: The effects of globalization and economic liberalization," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 3-37.
    9. Kai-yuen Tsui, 2007. "Forces Shaping China'S Interprovincial Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(1), pages 60-92, 03.
    10. Yao, Shujie & Zhang, Zongyi, 2001. "On Regional Inequality and Diverging Clubs: A Case Study of Contemporary China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 466-484, September.
    11. Marcela González Rivas, 2007. "The effects of trade openness on regional inequality in Mexico," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 545-561, September.
    12. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Indicators 2012," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6014.
    13. Raul Ramos & Manuel Artís & Jordi Suriñach, 2009. "Human Capital Spillovers Productivity and Regional Convergence in Spain," IREA Working Papers 200925, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Nov 2009.
    14. Bao, Chao & Fang, Chuang-lin, 2007. "Water resources constraint force on urbanization in water deficient regions: A case study of the Hexi Corridor, arid area of NW China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 508-517, May.
    15. LAU, Chi Keung Marco, 2010. "New evidence about regional income divergence in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 293-309, June.
    16. Y.H. Dennis Wei & Xinyue Ye, 2009. "Beyond Convergence: Space, Scale, And Regional Inequality In China," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 100(1), pages 59-80, 02.
    17. Jones, Derek C. & Li, Cheng & Owen, Ann L., 2003. "Growth and regional inequality in China during the reform era," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 186-200.
    18. Fleisher, Belton M. & Chen, Jian, 1997. "The Coast-Noncoast Income Gap, Productivity, and Regional Economic Policy in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 220-236, October.
    19. Fan, Shenggen & Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2008. "Regional Inequality In China: An Overview," Working Papers 51157, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    20. Zhang, Xiaobo & Fan, Shenggen, 2000. "Public investment and regional inequality in rural China:," EPTD discussion papers 71, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    21. Roberto Esposti & Stefania Bussoletti, 2008. "Impact of Objective 1 Funds on Regional Growth Convergence in the European Union: A Panel-data Approach," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 159-173.
    22. Das, Samarjit & Sinha, Gouranga & Mitra, Tushar K., 2010. "Regional convergence of growth, inequality and poverty in India--An empirical study," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1054-1060, September.
    23. Dan-Lin Yu, 2006. "Spatially varying development mechanisms in the Greater Beijing Area: a geographically weighted regression investigation," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 173-190, March.
    24. Chun- Yu Ho & Dan Li, 2007. "Rising Regional Inequality in China:Policy Regimes and Structural Changes," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-013, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    25. C. Cindy Fan, 1997. "Uneven development and beyond: regional development theory in post-Mao China," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 620-639, December.
    26. Zhang, Wei, 2001. " Rethinking Regional Disparity in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 34(1-2), pages 113-38.
    27. Yu, Kang & Xin, Xian & Guo, Ping & Liu, Xiaoyun, 2011. "Foreign direct investment and China's regional income inequality," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 1348-1353, May.
    28. Yehua Dennis Wei & Xinyue Ye, 2004. "Regional Inequality in China: A Case Study of Zhejiang Province," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 95(1), pages 44-60, 02.
    29. George Petrakos & Yiannis Saratsis, 2000. "articles: Regional inequalities in Greece," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 79(1), pages 57-74.
    30. Efthymios Tsionas, 2002. "Another Look at Regional Convergence in Greece," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 603-609.
    31. Ben Gardiner & Ron Martin & Peter Tyler, 2011. "Does spatial agglomeration increase national growth? some evidence from Europe," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(6), pages 979-1006, November.
    32. Deng, Xiangzheng & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Uchida, Emi, 2008. "Growth, population and industrialization, and urban land expansion of China," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 96-115, January.
    33. Xiaobo Zhang & Kevin Zhang, 2003. "How Does Globalisation Affect Regional Inequality within A Developing Country? Evidence from China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 47-67.
    34. Sergio J. Rey & Mark V. Janikas, 2005. "Regional convergence, inequality, and space," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 155-176, April.
    35. Carlino, Gerald & Mills, Leonard, 1996. "Are U.S. regional incomes converging? Reply," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 599-601, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:52:y:2014:i:1:p:155-182. 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: (Sonal Shukla)

    or (Christopher F Baum)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.