PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (7): 1102-1112.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.07.013

• Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A Review on divergence of regional economic growth in China

LI Guangdong1,2, FANG Chuanglin1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2012-12-01 Revised:2013-05-01 Online:2013-07-25 Published:2013-07-25

Abstract: Balancing regional growth is one of the top priorities for economic development in China. Theoretical studies are urgently needed to systematically analyze the degree, pattern, characteristics and mechanisms of regional divergence. Based on literature study and comparative analysis, this paper discusses the progress, remaining issues and future directions of the research on regional economic divergence. The results show that most of foreign researches take multi-disciplinary approaches and focus on the geographical effects, which makes geographic information system (GIS), spatial econometric analysis and space statistical analysis the most commonly used methods. In addition, downscaling and practical application become a common trend. Most of domestic studies, on the other hand, are to confirm the knowledge and theories from foreign studies in China, without our own innovations. Previous studies pay more attention to regional and provincial scales, less on city and county scales. Currently, controversies still exist among the domestic researchers on the degree of divergence of regional growth, whether convergence has occurred and how quickly it changes, etc. Future research should focus on collecting more detailed and comprehensive datasets, monitoring the dynamic changes of regional economic growth, and establishing a quantitative measure system and technology platform. Inter-regional interactions, economic spillovers, mechanisms of imbalance, and practical applications will continue to be the focus of future research.

Key words: convergence, divergence of regional economic growth, geographical factors, mechanism, review