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Distribution System of China's Industrial Clusters: Case Study of Yiwu China Commodity City


  • Ding, Ke


This paper discusses the issue of upgrading industrial clusters from the perspective of external linkages. It is taken for granted that in most developing countries, due to the limited domestic market and poor traditional commercial networks, industrial clusters are able to upgrade only when they are involved in global value chains. However, the rise of China’s industrial clusters challenges this view. Historically, China has had a lot of industrial clusters with their own traditional commercial networks. This fact combined with its huge population resulted in the formation of a unique external linage to China’s industrial clusters after the socialist planning period ended. In concrete terms, since the 1980s, a traditional commercial institution . the transaction market . began to appear in most clusters. These markets within the clusters get connected to those in the cities due to interaction between traditional merchants and local governments. This has resulted in the formation of a powerful market network-based distribution system which has played a crucial role for China’s industrial clusters in responding to exploding domestic demand. This paper explains these features in detail, using Yiwu China Commodity City as a case study.

Suggested Citation

  • Ding, Ke, 2006. "Distribution System of China's Industrial Clusters: Case Study of Yiwu China Commodity City," IDE Discussion Papers 75, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper75

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. H. Ahmed & SM. Miller, 2000. "Crowding-out and crowding-in effects of the components of government expenditure," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 124-133, January.
    2. Claessens,Stijn & Klingebiel,Daniela M. H. & Schmukler,Sergio L., 2003. "Government bonds in domestic and foreign currency: the role of macroeconomic and institutional factors," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2986, The World Bank.
    3. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Does public capital crowd out private capital?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-188, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bellandi, Marco & Lombardi, Silvia, 2012. "Specialized markets and Chinese industrial clusters: The experience of Zhejiang Province," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 626-638.

    More about this item


    Industrial cluster; Transaction market; Merchants; Network; Yiwu; Distribution; Industrial structure; Commerce; Market; China; ネットワーク; 流通; 産業構造; 商業; 市場; 中国;

    JEL classification:

    • L67 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Other Consumer Nondurables: Clothing, Textiles, Shoes, and Leather Goods; Household Goods; Sports Equipment
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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