Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (12): 2364-2377.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201812007

• Urban and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal coupling relationship between agricultural labor changes and agricultural economic development at county level in China and its implications for rural revitalization

MA Li1,2(),LONG Hualou1(),ZHANG Yingnan1,2,TU Shuangshuang1,3,GE Dazhuan4   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Key Laboratory of Environment Change and Resources Use in Beibu Gulf, Guangxi Teachers Education University, the Ministry of Education, Nanning 530001, China
    4. College of Geography, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu, China
  • Received:2017-11-24 Online:2018-12-14 Published:2018-12-14
  • Supported by:
    Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41731286;The Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China, No.2018M630197


Based on the 1991, 2000 and 2010 panel data at county level in China, this paper analyzes the coupling characteristics and spatio-temporal pattern of agricultural economic development and agricultural labor changes under rapid urbanization by using the quantitative and GIS spatial analysis methods. The results showed that: (1) During 1991-2010, China's agricultural labor at county level showed a decreasing trend, down 4.91% and 15.50%, respectively, from 1991 to 2000 and 2000 to 2010; from the perspective of spatial distribution, the quantity of agricultural labor in China is characterized by the spatial evolution of "decreasing eastward and increasing westward". (2) During 1991-2010, China's agricultural economy at county level showed a sustained growth trend, with a total increase of 140.13%, but the regional differences were obvious. The proportion of agricultural output in the regional GDP gradually decreased and showed the characteristics of decreasing in the eastern region and increasing in the western region. (3) The coupling types of economic-labor elasticity coefficient are mainly the increasing type and intensive type, representing the growth of agricultural economy and labor, respectively; the growth of agricultural economy and the reduction of agricultural labor were observed in the northwest and southeast of China, respectively. The coupling types of "retarded", "fading" and "declining" regions are more in line with the high incidence of poverty in China; from 1991 to 2010, the coupling types presented a positive trend. Finally, based on the coupling types and spatial distribution of economic-labor elasticity coefficient, some policy suggestions are put forward to promote the integration of the primary, secondary and tertiary industries and the revitalization of rural economy.

Key words: agricultural labor change, agricultural economic development, economic-labor elasticity coefficient, spatio-temporal coupling, rural revitalization, China