PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (9): 1109-1118.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.09.006

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Progress and prospects of border effect research

Chenglong WANG1,2,3, Hui LIU1,2,*, Mengtian ZHANG1,2,3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2015-08-01 Revised:2016-06-01 Online:2016-09-20 Published:2016-09-20
  • Contact: Hui LIU
  • Supported by:
    Foundation: National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.71441036


As a man-made spatial or geographic element, administrative boundaries, acting like an invisible barrier, influence the process of globalization and regional integration. According to the statistics of literature associated with border effect since the 1990s, the number of studies in this field has increased greatly. In 1995, the study of international trade between the United States and Canada by McCallum promoted the progress of research in border effect. Most studies in the field of economic geography that followed focus on the mechanism and effect in three categories: the puzzle of border effect, market segmentation, and the progress of integration. When studying the puzzle of border effect, researchers always focused on three questions: "what is the connotation of the border effect?"; "what factors may affect the border effect?"; and "how wide is the border?" With regard to the integration and market segmentation studies of the border effect, transnational trade was always the research hotspot. With the gradual deepening of the studies, researchers not only paid attention to border effect in the field of economic geography but also focused on transboundary differentiation in tourism geography, urban geography, and political geography. Gravity model, convergence analysis, and monopolistic competition model were chosen to construct the border effect model. Although based on different theories, the virtual variable "border" was added to the models in the same way. Social network and the principle of "homogeneous repel, heterogeneous attraction" also were applied to the study of border effect. Further research can be carried out in the following three areas: studying the puzzle of border effect in view of the nature of administrative boundary, developing the research field of border effect, and the optimization and innovation of research methods.

Key words: border effect, scope of research, model and method, progress and prospect