Economic Transition and Convergence of Regional Industrial Structure in China

  • 1. Department of Urban and Regional Planning,Peking University,Beijing 100871,China;
    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100039,China

Received date: 2007-07-23

  Revised date: 2008-05-22

  Online published: 2008-08-25

Supported by

Youth Science Foundation of NSFC, No.40401015; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40535027


China has undergone substantial industrial restructuring since the economic transition. The triple process of marketization, globalization and decentralization has a significant influence on the changes of industrial structure in Chinese provinces. Marketization and globalization may motivate provinces to develop industries based on their comparative advantages while decentralization may work in the opposite way. There are forces that stim ulate the structural convergence among Chinese provinces and also forces that lead to industrial structural divergence. Using data from the first econom iccensus conducted in 2004, this paper finds out that Chinese provinces are quite similar in their industrial structures. Industries contributing to the convergence of industrial com positions am ong Chinese provinces differ in different time periods. Provinces with similar industrial structure share a num ber of common characteristics. Statistical results indicate that m arketization has enhanced the role of com parative advantage endow ed in natural resources, stim ulating the divergence of industrial structures of Chinese provinces with different resource endowments while encouraging provinces with comparable endowments to develop similar industries. How ever, decentralization generates economic fragmentation of domestic markets, fueling inter-provincial protectionism and rational im itation, and leading to the convergence of industrial structures am ong Chinese provinces.Globalization has two effects.On the one hand, the globalized provinces have been converging in their industrial structures. On the other hand, the globalized provinces have rather different industrial structures from the underperform ed provinces in exports and utilization of FDI. The em pirical results im ply that econom ic transition and its consequences are critical in understanding the industrial restructuring in China.

Cite this article

HE Canfei, LIU Zuoli, WANG Liang . Economic Transition and Convergence of Regional Industrial Structure in China[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2008 , 63(8) : 807 -819 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200808003


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