PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (10): 1571-1582.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.10.012

• Special Issue | Empirical Study • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Global and local factors of city growth in China based on the change in the manufacturing sector

SHI Jin   

  1. School of Economics, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China
  • Received:2019-06-03 Revised:2019-08-14 Online:2019-10-28 Published:2019-11-01
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(No. 41601109)


As a foundation of spatial restructuring of industries, firm dynamics have triggered decades of research into entrepreneurship and its relation to regional growth since the 1980s. According to new firm formation and employment growth, the concept of "growth regime" was applied to classify cities into four types, namely, entrepreneurial, revolving door, routinized, and downsizing. This article describes the changing geography of city growth regimes in China in 2003-2008 and 2008-2013 based on firm-level data in the manufacturing sector in order to explore the new round of spatial dynamics in the 21st century. Two major paths of transition in growth regimes are identified. First, cities in several manufacturing bases of East China, whose export-oriented manufacturing activities were severely affected by the 2008 global financial crisis, fell from routinized to downsizing regime owing to low rate of new firm formation, slacked growth of existing firms, and declining employment growth in the manufacturing sector. Second, cities in the central region and the relatively underdeveloped part of East China, which were better positioned to attract new firms because of the rising domestic market potential, turned from revolving door to entrepreneurial regime due to high rate of employment growth brought by new firms. Furthermore, multinomial Logit models were used to test the effects of global and local factors of city growth regimes in the two periods, which transcends the exclusive focus on local conditions in existing research. The effect of export orientation at the global scale and agglomeration economies at the local scale changed from centripetal forces in 2003-2008 to centrifugal forces in 2008-2013. The falling influence of export orientation and the rising power of small firms and industrial structure reflect the changing global-local nexus.

Key words: growth regimes, global factors, local factors, global-local nexus, multinomial Logit model