PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (7): 963-975.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.07.010

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Regional specialization of China's export products

Zhenfa LI1(), Canfei HE2,3,*(), Bin LI2,3   

  1. 1. College of Urban Planning and Design, Peking University, Shenzhen 518055, Guangdong, China
    2. School of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    3. Peking University-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2017-09-26 Revised:2018-01-18 Online:2018-07-28 Published:2018-07-28
  • Contact: Canfei HE;
  • Supported by:
    Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41731278;National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, No.41425001


Studying the regional specialization of China's export products will help us to understand China's industrial geography and regional economic development. Based on an indicator (Average technological Relatedness, AR) of regional specialization recently defined by evolutionary economic geography which can reflect a new concept called related specialization, this study analyzed the spatiotemporal patterns and influencing factors of regional specialization of China's export products of the manufacturing industry during 2000-2011. Cities with higher regional specialization gradually expanded from the eastern coastal region of China to the central and western regions, which highly coincided with the regional economic development of China. Products with higher-tech and higher value-added had a higher level of regional specialization. Results from the empirical model show that higher technological relatedness density, local economic complexity, and product sophistication are helpful to increasing the level of regional specialization of export products, but local government intervention in export products tends to distort market direction, which is against regional specialization.

Key words: regional specialization, export products, related specialization, Average Technological Relatedness (AR), technological relatedness, complexity, China