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The Rise of Border Areas in an Integrated Region of China

Minsheng Li (), Haohui Chen (), Yaofu Huang () and Meiyu Huang ()
Additional contact information
Minsheng Li: Urban and Rural Planning and Design Institute, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China; gpp04lms@mail3.sysu.edu.cn (M.L.)
Haohui Chen: Data61, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Docklands VIC 3008, Australia
Yaofu Huang: School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
Meiyu Huang: Urban and Rural Planning and Design Institute, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China; gpp04lms@mail3.sysu.edu.cn (M.L.)

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 20, 1-11

Abstract: Increasing economic integration between countries has spurred the rapid growth of border areas. However, whether city-level boundary areas can benefit from regional integrations within one regime is unknown. Along with growing numbers of integrated regions in developing economies, especially in China, understanding the extent to which geographic growth and location conditions play roles in the process is of great importance. Therefore, this study used night-time light data between 2013 and 2018 to investigate the growth patterns of different parts of the highly integrated Pearl River Delta (PRD) of China. The results showed that border areas, especially those with emerging economies, grew faster than city centers during the study period. Moreover, we built ordinary least square (OLS) regression and spatial econometrics models to understand how location conditions across the two cities affected the growth process. The models showed that the urbanization levels across the two cities had inverted U-shaped effects on the growth of border areas. The social security costs also exhibited negative effects. The study findings can help policymakers better understand emerging growth areas and, accordingly, deploy appropriate policies to overcome the obstacles to the integration process and ensure equity in development opportunities.

Keywords: regional integration; border areas; location conditions; pearl river delta; night-time light (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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