PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (3): 372-380.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.03.006

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Driving factors of urbanization in Jiangsu Province based on quantile regression

NIU Pinyi, LU Yuqi, PENG Qian   

  1. School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2012-07-01 Revised:2012-11-01 Online:2013-03-25 Published:2013-03-25

Abstract: Study of the dynamic mechanism of urbanization in China is very important for the sustainable and rational progress of urbanization. The most commonly used statistical method in quantitative studies of urbanization abroad and at home is OLS regression (ordinary least squares), which only provides a rough assessment of driving forces of the dynamic process of urbanization. In this paper, by calculating coefficients of variation and using kernel density estimation method, we first describe the distribution of the counties in terms of urbanization levels, based on the statistics of urbanized population during 2000-2009 in Jiangsu Province. The results indicate that the differences in urbanization level among the counties remain unchanged throughout the years. With the overall rapid process of urbanization, the distribution starts to exhibit a“two peaks co-existing”pattern, on the low end and high end of the urbanization level. Quantile regression allows one to obtain a more comprehensive picture of the effect of the predictor variable on the response variable, thus we conduct a comparative analysis on the factors driving urbanization, using both quantile regression and OLS regression. In the study, the process of urbanization has been divided into two phases, before and after 2005, and OLS analysis has found that administrative power has decreasing effect on urbanization while the effects of market power and centrifugal force are relatively increasing. Quantile regression analysis provides more reliable and more detailed information, which shows that administrative power has less effect on the areas with higher urbanization level; centrifugal force has higher effect on the areas with higher urbanization level than the ones with lower urbanization level; the effect of market power has gone through an increasing phase and then a decreasing phase as the urbanization level continuously increases; industrial structure has complex and ever-changing effects; city level has stronger effect on the areas with higher urbanization level. Over all, urbanization of the counties in Jiangsu Province is a dynamic process showing different characteristics at different stages.

Key words: driving factors, Jiangsu Province, kernel density, quantile regression, urbanization of population