PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2005, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (1): 21-30.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2005.01.003

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Long-term Trends of Regional Economic Inequalities in China, 1952~2003

GUO Tengyun, XU Yong   

  1. Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101 China
  • Received:2004-06-01 Revised:2004-10-01 Online:2005-01-25 Published:2005-01-25

Abstract:

Based on a long and consistent data set of regional real per capita GDP, in this paper employing the Gini Coefficient (or Gini index) and Generalized Entropy Measurement (GE) we scrutinize the regional economic inequalities and their changing trends, and the inter-regional and intra-regional inequalities in Coastal-Inland, North-South and highly-less urbanized region dimensions in China during the period 1952~2003. And our study results display specific views on China’s macro regional economic patterns during the period. The overall long tendency of inter-provincial economic inequalities in China increased slowly, and rose and fell cyclically over time during the period 1952~2003; Through decomposing the inter-provincial economic inequalities, on one hand, we find that in the Coastal-Inland dimension during 1952~1993 the inter-provincial economic inequalities were made up of intra-regional inequalities between Coastal-Inland regions, but during the period 1993~2003 the inter-provincial economic inequalities were mainly composed of the inter-regional inequalities between Coastal-Inland regions; in the same time, in the highly-less urbanized regions dimension, the inter-provincial economic inequalities were also made up of intra-regional inequalities between highly-less urbanized regions during 1952~1986, but during the period from 1986 to 2003 the inter-provincial economic inequalities were composed of the inter-regional inequalities between highly-less urbanized regions. On the other hand, although the inter-inequalities between Coastal-Inland regions and highly-less urbanized regions were smaller than those of the corresponding intra-inequalities in numerical magnitude during the periods 1952~1993, 1952~1986, respectively, the inter-inequalities between coastal-inland regions, and highly-less urbanized regions tended to increase much faster than the intra-disparities, and transcended the intra-inequalities and became the main parts of inter-provincial economic inequalities after 1993 and 1986, respectively. Whereas, in the North-South region dimension, the inter-provincial economic inequalities were always composed of intra-regional economic inequalities between North-South regions, and the inter-regional economic inequalities between North-South regions were too small to contribute to the inter-provincial economic inequalities during the whole period 1952~2003.

Key words: changing trend, China, economic inequality, regional economy