Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (6): 1471-1488.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202106011

• Rural Development and Settlement Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The spatio-temporal variations and driving factors of non-farm employment growth in contiguous destitute areas of China

YIN Jiangbin1,2(), LI Shangqian1, JIANG Lei3, CHENG Zhe4, HUANG Xiaoyan1,2(), LU Gaigai1   

  1. 1. Northwest Land and Resource Research Center, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    2. Global Regional and Urban Research Institute, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    3. School of Economics, Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics, Hangzhou 310018, China
    4. School of Public Management, Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi'an 710055, China
  • Received:2020-06-17 Revised:2020-12-22 Online:2021-06-25 Published:2021-08-25
  • Contact: HUANG Xiaoyan;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071213);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871168);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41831284);Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province of China(2018JM4022);Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province of China(2018JM4006);Key Grant of Theoretical and Practical Issues in Social Science of Shaanxi Province(2020Z088);Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(2019CSLY031)


The focus of China's battle against poverty will shift from relative poverty to absolute poverty. The fundamental measure in the new stage of poverty governance is to promote transformation of destitute areas by increasing their non-farm employment opportunities and ensuring fully effective employment for the poor. Based on county data from 2013 to 2017 covering 14 contiguous destitute areas of China, the spatial econometric model method was adopted to analyze the spatial growth trend of non-farm employment in these areas and its driving factors since the implementation of the poverty alleviation strategy, and the differences in the drivers of non-farm employment under different population sizes were distinguished. The results were obtained as follows: (1) Non-farm employment exhibits a strong spatial non-equilibrium. (2) The growth of non-farm employment is faster than the national average, with apparent characteristics of spatial heterogeneity and clear tendencies of convergence. (3) There is substantial spatial dependence on the growth of non-farm employment among counties in the study areas. Place-based factors and geo-structural factors have jointly affected the growth of non-farm employment in these areas. The level of initial employment has a restraining effect on non-farm employment growth. However, the regional economic scales, the availability of financial capital, the industrial structure, the level of basic education, the proximity of market to provincial capitals or megacities, and the flat or humid geographical environments have significantly contributed to the growth of non-farm employment in destitute areas. (4) The determinants of non-farm employment growth in counties at different scales have significant differences. This research provides support to further research on the growth of non-farm employment in poor areas as well as poverty governance and regional transformation and development in the new period.

Key words: destitute areas, non-farm employment, spatial growth, spatial econometric model, China