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China's Western Development Strategy and Nature versus Nurture

  • Jane Golley

The current trend of rising inequalities in industrial development between East and West China has resulted from a combination of nature and nurture. Given the natural tendency for firms to agglomerate in a developing, market economy, and the numerous geographical and historical factors that have long favoured the Eastern region, it is hardly surprising that this is where Chinese industry has become increasingly agglomerated in recent decades. It is even less surprising in light of deliberate policy choices that compounded, or nurtured, this natural tendency. Left to market forces alone, the agglomeration process should reverse itself (to some extent) in the (very) long-run, as firms relocate to provinces with relatively low costs of production. However, that theoretical long-run is too far away for the Chinese central government, which has introduced a 'Western Development Strategy' to try and speed up economic development in China's poorest region. This paper assesses the likelihood that this Strategy in its current guise will succeed in promoting industrial development in the West.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies.

Volume (Year): 5 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 115-129

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:5:y:2007:i:2:p:115-129
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