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The Causes and Consequences of China's Municipal Amalgamations: Evidence from Population Redistribution

Ning Jia and Huiyong Zhong

China & World Economy, 2022, vol. 30, issue 4, 174-200

Abstract: Along with China's urbanization, the spatial redistribution of the country's population has led to difficulties for local governance, especially in areas experiencing population outflows. Municipal amalgamation is an effective response. This study uses administrative system code data that are accurate at the community and village level to verify the causal relationship between migration and village or community municipal amalgamation. It shows that migration has been an important reason for municipal amalgamation. Counties with greater population outflow have experienced more frequent amalgamation, manifesting a decrease in the numbers of villages and communities. This study also examined the consequences of this amalgamation, finding that it can significantly alleviate local governments' fiscal pressures and promote public services in the long term. It is of great importance for improving the grassroots governance of population outflow areas during rapid urbanization in China.

Date: 2022
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