Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (2): 312-322.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201902008

• Geoeconomics and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Cost-efficiency mechanism and game-action of inter-local governmental cooperation in the Yangtze River Delta Region

CHEN Wen1,2(),WANG Jue3,SUN Wei1   

  1. 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Key Laboratory Watershed Geographic Sciences, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    2. Department of Resource and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, NT, Hong Kong 999077, China
  • Received:2018-01-08 Online:2019-02-25 Published:2019-01-29
  • Supported by:
    Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41130750;Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.XDA230201


Under the background of globalization and regional integration, regional cooperation is viewed as a crucial approach to dealing with various challenges in the context of globalization, and likewise as a prerequisite for maintaining the cities' comparative advantages as well as competitiveness. Although different actors involving private enterprises, research agencies and other organizations have jointly participated in the regional organization, and local governments have played dominant roles in the cross-border cooperation by controlling the majority of social resources and assuming the responsibility of managing the economic activities within their jurisdictional areas. By applying the cost-benefit analysis based on the game theory and governmental behavior theory, this paper attempts to put forward three models of intergovernmental cooperation and builds a new theoretical framework to explain how the mutual gains and costs of the cooperative efforts drive the governmental behavior. Then, by focusing on the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region, three typical cases of cooperation events, the YRD accessible travel circle (Changsanjiao wuzhang'ai lyuyouquan), Shanghai-Jiangsu-Zhejiang-Anhui expressway (shensuzhewan gaosu gonglu) and the management of Jiangsu-Zhejiang transboundary water pollution are selected to examine the three models of intergovernmental cooperation, namely, win-win model, comparative interest model, and win-lose model. This paper explains different types of cost-benefit, cooperation powers, and behavioral strategies under different cooperation modes. Through tracing the process of cooperation formation and investigating intergovernmental interaction, this paper argues that the cooperative gains and costs significantly influence the governmental behavior, and further shape different models of intergovernmental cooperation. Based on the empirical analysis, this paper suggests that cooperative mechanism including mutual trust mechanism, dialogue and consultation mechanisms, benefit-sharing mechanisms, as well as supervision mechanism should be formed in the further promotion of regional cooperation in the Yangtze River Delta.

Key words: city government, cooperation model, cost-benefit, game mechanism, Yangtze River Delta