PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (8): 961-967.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2010.08.009

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Relationship Between the Urban-rural Income Inequality and Urbanization in West China: A Case Study of Qinghai Province

YANG Guo’an1, XU Yong2   

  1. 1. Institute of Modern Urban-Rural Development Planning, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100730, China|
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2009-10-01 Revised:2010-03-01 Online:2010-08-25 Published:2010-08-25


Abstract: Over the past decade, China has developed very fast. Great achievements have been made almost in every field, especially in urbanization. However, regional difference and urban-rural inequality are still a bottle neck problem for sustainable development. The urban-rural income inequality is evoking a heated discussion in China at present. The study area of this paper is Qinghai Province, a typical western province in China located on the Tibetan Plateau with an average altitude more than 3000 meters above the sea level, and more than half of the province is in arid and semi-arid areas. The urban-rural disparity is higher than the average level and much higher than eastern China. The Granger causality test and cointegration tests have many advantages in time series analysis. This paper uses them to analyze the urban-rural income inequality time series and urbanization time series from 1985 to 2008. By constructing the cointegration tests and error correction model of the urban-rural income inequality time series and urbanization time series, this paper argues that there exists a long term balanced relationship between the urban-rural income inequality and urbanization. The Granger causality tests suggest that the urban-rural income inequality has the Granger-causality with urbanization, but urbanization does not have the Granger-causality with urban-rural income inequality. Urbanization is indeed an important measure to reduce the increasingly urban-rural inequality. But there are many influencing factors in reducing urban-rural disparity, such as historical economic background, scale of central city, geographical environment and natural resources, level of market development, location and transportation, impact of globalization and climate change, quantity and quality of the population and regional development strategy. All of the factors mentioned above will have impacts on the development of urban economy and regional economy in Qinghai Province.

Key words: cointegration, Granger causality test, Qinghai province, urbanization, urban-rural income inequality