PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (8): 974-985.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.08.006

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Path creation in China's industrial evolution

Lulu JIN1,2(), Canfei HE1,2,*(), Yi ZHOU1,2, Xuqian HU1,2   

  1. 1. School of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Peking University-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, Beijing 100871, China
  • Online:2017-08-31 Published:2017-08-28
  • Contact: Canfei HE;
  • Supported by:
    National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, No.41425001


In evolutionary economics, the notion of path creation has attracted much attention in recent years. Previous research has expounded the possibility of path dependence and path creation in the process of regional industrial evolution, but it remains unknown that who changes the existing production capacity and accomplishes path creation. This article focuses on regional production capacity, and applies the indicator of density defined by Hidalgo. Based on the data of 424 four-digit industry of 337 prefecture-level cities in China from 1999 to 2012, this article discusses the path creation of China's industrial evolution. It is found that the entry and exit of an industry would break the original production structure of a region and become the creator of a new path. Governmental subsidies, on the one hand, can promote the development of a region's existing production capacity to enhance the regional's path dependence trend, but also can influence industry dynamics and accelerate the process of path creation. The selection of evolutionary path has significant regional differences. This study will help deepen the understanding of the change of China's industrial structure and its regional differentiation, and provides new evidence from developing countries for the development of evolutionary economic geography.

Key words: path creation, path dependence, industry evolution, new industry, exit industry, product capacity, governmental subsidies