Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2006, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (2): 212-222.doi: 10.11821/xb200602010

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Geographical Concentration and Provincial Specialization of Chinese Manufacturing Industries

HE Canfei1, XIE Xiuzhen1.2   

  1. 1. Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
    2. Shenzhen Graduate School of Peking University, Shenzhen 518055, China
  • Received:2005-09-20 Revised:2005-11-29 Online:2006-02-25 Published:2006-02-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 40401015


Economic transition introduced market forces and globalizing forces into the Chinese economic system, resulting in dramatic spatial transformation of manufacturing industries. Using a panel dataset of two-digit manufacturing industries by province during the period 1980-2003, this study found that Chinese manufacturing industries have been increasingly concentrated and Chinese provinces have become more diversified in their industrial structure. However, most industries experienced a spatially dispersing process in the 1980s and a polarizing process from the 1990s. While becoming more pluralistic, meanwhile most provinces diversified their industrial structure and turned more specialized in the late 1990s. Statistical results imply that comparative advantages, scale economies and globalization forces are the most important locational determinants of Chinese manufacturing industries. Utilization of foreign investments and exporting have indeed reinforced the importance of comparative advantages in locating Chinese industries. External economies stressed in economic geography models have not fostered industrial agglomerations at the provincial level.

Key words: geographical concentration, specialization, globalization, manufacturing, China