Smart Cities are Big Cities -- Comparative Advantage in Chinese Cities
56 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2014
Date Written: October 23, 2014
The literature on China indicates that the concentration of economic activities in China is less than in other industrialized countries. Institutional limits are largely held responsible for this finding (e.g. the Hukou system); firms and workers are not able to take full advantage of the benefits from agglomeration economies. China is changing rapidly, however, also in this respect. We show that, by using the methodology developed by Davis and Dingel (2013), high-skilled workers in high-skill intensive sectors sort into larger locations. We demonstrate this for regions, agglomerations, cities, and for skills, occupations, and sectors. The results are strongest for cities and skills, followed by agglomerations and occupations, respectively. Between 2000 and 2010 this sorting process has become stronger, which we interpret as an indication that institutional limitations in China against further agglomeration weaken, and that the consensus in the literature that 'Chinese cities are too small' needs some qualification.
Keywords: urban specialization, skill concentration, agglomeration economies
JEL Classification: R11, R12, J61, L70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation