PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (12): 1555-1561.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2010.12.012

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis of Regional Economic Disparities in Beijing during 2001-2007

MA Xiaoyi, PEI Tao   

  1. Lab Resources and Environment Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences &|Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2010-02-01 Revised:2010-07-01 Online:2010-12-25 Published:2010-12-25


The unbalanced development of regional economy in China has been a ubiquitous socioeconomic phenomenon. Recently, in order to adjust the east-west and south-north polarization patterns on a large scale, the government has put forward some significant strategic decisions, such as the western development and the rejuvenation of old industrial bases in Northeast China. However, due to the less attention paid to the unbalanced economical development in the rapidly developed megalopolises, such as Beijing, Chongqing and Shanghai, the gradually expanded regional economic disparities in megalopolis may affect the sustainable development of economy and the social stability. Understanding the economic disparity in megalopolis and its developing trend is an important precondition to promote the harmonious development of regional economy. This paper aims to study the space-time dynamics of economic development in Beijing during the preparation period of the 2008 Olympic Games (2001-2007), using exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA). ESDA emphasizes the significance of spatial interactions and geographical location in the studies of regional economic development. By identifying spatial autocorrelation and spatial heterogeneity, the economic performance can be characterized over time. Therefore, ESDA is a powerful tool for revealing the development of regional economic disparities. Previous studies have been implemented on this issue existing in Europe and the Huaihai Economic Zone of China by using ESDA. However, few of them revealed the space-time dynamics of regional economy in inner megalopolis. This study, combining ESDA with GIS technology, attempts to investigate the development of regional economy in Beijing from 2001 to 2007. Our method is based regional per capita gross domestic product (GDP) at a county level . The results do not show strong evidences of global spatial autocorrelation, but present clear evidences of local spatial autocorrelation and spatial heterogeneity in the distribution of regional per capita GDP. From 2001 to 2007, the economic disparity in Beijing was not improved, and even enlarged. Moreover, a new centre-surrounding polarization pattern was gradually replacing the north-south polarization pattern in Beijing.

Key words: Beijing, exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA), regional economics, spatial autocorrelation