PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (5): 746-758.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.05.003

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Effects of high-speed rail on the spatial agglomeration of producer services: A case study of the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration

TANG Zhaopei1,3(), WU Wei1,2,*(), LIU Weichen1,2, LI Xiaoli1,2   

  1. 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2020-02-25 Revised:2020-12-14 Online:2021-05-28 Published:2021-07-28
  • Contact: WU Wei;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41871122(41871122);Tthe Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20010101)


Based on the data of 26 cities in the Yangtze River Delta during 2002-2017, this study analyzed the effect of high-speed rail (HSR) on producer services from both static and dynamic perspectives using the difference-in-difference model to explore the relationship between the high-speed rail and the spatial agglomeration of producer services. The results show that: 1) The effect of HSR is strongly associated with the development level of high-speed rails, and includes the organization of passenger traffic and space-time compression. The producer services agglomeration in the Yangtze River Delta has been greatly improved along HSR. According to the statistics from 2002 to 2017, HSR has actively contributed to the agglomeration of producer services, with the intensity increased during the development of high-speed rail network in the Yangtze River Delta. Temporally, the influence of HSR on producer services agglomeration can be categorized into two stages, exhibiting a lagging effect of the high-speed rail construction. 2) The effects of HSR vary for different industries, featuring significant heterogeneity. While facilitating the agglomeration of some industries among cities along HSR lines, HSR has contributed to the decentralization of other industries into cities without HSR stations. Research and design services belong to the highly-promoted type, which means that HSR promotes the agglomeration of research and design services in the cities with HSR stations. The second category is moderately-promoted type, which includes computer services and financial services. High-speed rail gears up the agglomeration of the above industries with different intensity. Energy saving and environmental protection services tend to be developed among cities without HSR stations, which is the same for transport services and productive leasing services. These three kinds of industries are classified as highly-restrained type, which has tendencies to locate in cities with no high-speed rail. The last category is the "no significance" type, containing wholesale and retail industry. 3) The impact of HSR on subcategories of industries exhibits heterogeneity across industries. From the dynamic perspective, the impacts on total producer services can be divided into two stages, corresponding to that of HSR development in the Yangtze River Delta. Besides, the dynamic effect of HSR is in accordance with its static effect on subcategories of industries.

Key words: high-speed rail, producer services, spatial agglomeration, Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration