On the Road to Prosperity? The Economic Geography of China's National Expressway Network

53 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Mark Roberts

Mark Roberts

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy

Uwe Deichmann

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Bernard Fingleton

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy

Tuo Shi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 1, 2010

Abstract

Over the past two decades, China has embarked on an ambitious program of expressway network expansion. By facilitating market integration, this program aims both to promote efficiency at the national level and to contribute to the catch-up of lagging inland regions with prosperous Eastern ones. This paper evaluates the aggregate and spatial economic impacts of China's newly constructed National Expressway Network, focussing, in particular, on its short-run impacts. To achieve this aim, the authors adopt a counterfactual approach based on the estimation and simulation of a structural "new economic geography" model. Overall, they find that aggregate Chinese real income was approximately 6 percent higher than it would have been in 2007 had the expressway network not been built. Although there is considerable heterogeneity in the results, the authors do not find evidence of a significant reduction in disparities across prefectural level regions or of a reduction in urban-rural disparities. If anything, the expressway network appears to have reinforced existing patterns of spatial inequality, although, over time, these will likely be reduced by enhanced migration.

Keywords: Transport Economics Policy & Planning, Economic Theory & Research, Labor Policies, Roads & Highways, Regional Economic Development

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Mark and Deichmann, Uwe and Fingleton, Bernard and Shi, Tuo, On the Road to Prosperity? The Economic Geography of China's National Expressway Network (November 1, 2010). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5479, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1709851

Mark Roberts (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy ( email )

19 Silver Street
Cambridge, CB3 9EP
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.landecon.cam.ac.uk

Uwe Deichmann

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Bernard Fingleton

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy ( email )

19 Silver Street
Cambridge, CB3 9EP
United Kingdom

Tuo Shi

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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