PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (11): 1329-1339.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.11.003

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Rural economic differentiation and spatial change in the Yellow River Basin

Chenguang LIU1(), Jiajun QIAO1,2,*()   

  1. 1. College of Environment & Planning, Research Institute of Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development, Regional Development and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, Henan, China;
    2. Henan Collaborative Innovation Center for Coordinating Industrialization, Urbanization and Agriculture Modernization in Central Economic Zone, Zhengzhou 450046, China
  • Online:2016-11-25 Published:2016-11-25
  • Contact: Jiajun QIAO;
  • Supported by:
    the MOE Project of Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at Universities, No.14JJD790011;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41671172, No.41329001, No.41501134


The study of rural economic development in the Yellow River Basin has an important theoretical and practical significance to revealing the driving mechanism of rural economic differentiation and realizing rapid development of rural areas in the Yellow River Basin. This article developed a comprehensive evaluation index of economic development level by using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). It applied GIS, GeoDA software and combined ESDA-GIS spatial analysis framework to analyze the spatial and temporal differences of rural economy of 332 counties in the Yellow River Basin from 1990 to 2013. The findings show that: (1) The level of rural economic development in the eastern region of the Yellow River Basin was higher than the west. The overall level has gradually increased in the past 20 years. The highest and higher level zones were mainly distributed in the lower Yellow River reach and clustered; the medium level areas were mainly located in the traditional agricultural and pastoral areas of the Yellow River Basin, and the lowest and lower zones were located in the source region and their surrounding areas of the Yellow River. The spatial pattern showed that the high development level area was located in the center and there was a decreasing trend from the center to the surrounding areas. There was also clear spatial stratification among the different development levels; (2) The degree of spatial agglomeration was increasing since 1990. Moreover, areas of significantly high-high and significantly low-low development were dominant, showed a stable distribution, and concentrated in the downstream and upstream areas of the Yellow River respectively. On the other hand, areas of high-low and low-high development did not show a stable distribution and were fewer in number. (3) Factors including location, industrial structure, and development policy were the main causes of the differentiation of rural economy in the Yellow River Basin.

Key words: rural economy, economic difference, spatial change, driving mechanism, Yellow River Basin