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Roads, Railroads, and Decentralization of Chinese Cities

Author

Listed:
  • Nathaniel Baum-Snow

    (University of Toronto)

  • Loren Brandt

    (University of Toronto)

  • J. Vernon Henderson

    (London School of Economics)

  • Matthew A. Turner

    (Brown University)

  • Qinghua Zhang

    (Peking University)

Abstract

We investigate how urban railroad and highway configurations have influenced urban form in Chinese cities since 1990. Each radial highway displaces 4% of central city population to surrounding regions, and ring roads displace about an additional 20%, with stronger effects in the richer coastal and central regions. Each radial railroad reduces central city industrial GDP by about 20%, with ring roads displacing an additional 50%. We provide evidence that radial highways decentralize service sector activity, radial railroads decentralize industrial activity, and ring roads decentralize both. Historical transportation infrastructure provides identifying variation in more recent measures of infrastructure.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathaniel Baum-Snow & Loren Brandt & J. Vernon Henderson & Matthew A. Turner & Qinghua Zhang, 2017. "Roads, Railroads, and Decentralization of Chinese Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 435-448, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:99:y:2017:i:3:p:435-448
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics

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