Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (6): 1355-1375.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202306003

• Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Economic differences among counties in the Yellow River Basin from the core-periphery perspective

ZHANG Baifa1,2(), MIAO Changhong1,2(), RAN Zhao1, ZHANG Jing2, ZHANG Hang2   

  1. 1. The College of Geography and Environmental Science, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, Henan, China
    2. Key Research Institute of Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development & Yellow River Civilization by Provincial and Ministerial Co-construction of Collaborative Innovation Center, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, Henan, China
  • Received:2022-03-07 Revised:2023-02-24 Online:2023-06-25 Published:2023-06-21
  • Contact: MIAO Changhong;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(42171186)


To realize high-quality development in the Yellow River Basin, the study on economic differences should not be confined to the upper, middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. In addition, possible differences under various scales should be analyzed. The difference between border counties and non-border counties is an important aspect which needs further study. Therefore, nighttime light data were used to describe the economic development level from the core-periphery perspective, and the spatial autocorrelation method was used to identify the differences. Then an index of the difference in economic development was constructed to describe the evolution of core-periphery structure in the economic development from 1992 to 2019. Finally, the regression model was employed to explore how the evolution is driven by factors including natural endowment, location, traffic, industrial structure and government capacity. The results show that: (1) There are obvious economic differences between the upper, middle and lower reaches of the basin. However, with the scale decreases, there are economic differences between provincial capitals and non-provincial capitals, and between provincial border areas and non-border areas, highlighting the core-periphery structure. (2) The core-periphery structure of county economic development in the Yellow River Basin is weakening. In terms of provinces, Shandong's economy is developing well, the periphery and core counties are developing in a balanced way, and the core-periphery structure is weak. The core-periphery structure in Henan, Shanxi and Ningxia is relatively stable. However, the development of border counties and core areas in Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Gansu and Qinghai is unbalanced, showing a core-periphery polarization. (3) Natural endowments and location are the basis for the formation and development of core-periphery structure. However, the improvement of transportation, industrial structure and government capacity have a positive effect on narrowing the economic gap and delaying the polarization of the core-periphery structure. Therefore, strengthening the construction of transportation infrastructure, adjusting industrial structure and improving government capacity can help reduce the economic differences in the Yellow River Basin.

Key words: core-periphery structure, provincial border county, index of the difference in economic development, Yellow River Basin