PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (1): 87-95.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2010.01.012

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Coupling Mechanism of the Centroids of Economic Gravity and Population Gravity and Its Effect on the Regional Gap in China

FAN Jie1, TAO Anjun1,2, LV Chen1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China|
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Online:2010-01-25 Published:2010-01-25


Regional gap is an important problem that the regional development of China is facing. The distribution of economy and population, as an embodiment of the spatial equilibrium process of regional development, has a close relation with the state of regional gap. Using gravity models, it works out the center of economic gravity and population gravity (abbr. CEG and CPG), illustrates the coupling process by measuring the overlapping of two centers of gravity and the consistency of their movement, and proves that the coupling process has a high correlation with the evolution of regional gap. Then, a model of the coupling mechanism of CEG and CPG is built. Based on the model, it illustrates the spatial equilibrium process of regional development by the transition of equilibrium location and the conversion of regional potential energy difference, and reveals how the internal and external factors affect the process. Therefore, the authors advance a “multistage inverted-U-curve evolution law” of regional gap. Finally, it analyses the mechanism of the periodic variation of regional gap in China since 1952, and brings up a discussion of the path to coordinating the regional development of China.

Key words: center of economic gravity, center of population gravity, China, regional development, regional gap; spatial equilibrium