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The Evolution of Industrial Agglomerations and Specialization in the Yangtze River Delta from 1990–2018: An Analysis Based on Firm-Level Big Data

Shuju Hu (), Wei Song (), Chenggu Li () and Charlie H. Zhang ()
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Shuju Hu: School of Geographical Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
Wei Song: Department of Geography and Geosciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA
Chenggu Li: School of Geographical Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
Charlie H. Zhang: Department of Geography and Geosciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 20, 1-21

Abstract: Although industrial agglomeration and specialization have been studied for more than 100 years, it is still a controversial field. In the era of big data, it is of great significance to study industrial agglomeration and regional specialization by using firm-level data. Based on 3,053,024 pieces of firm-level big data, the spatial evolution and spatial patterns of industrial agglomeration and specialization of 9 major industries in the Yangtze River Delta, China were revealed. Results show that: (1) the degree of industrial agglomeration is highly related to industrial attributes; industries which are directly related to production tend to be geographically concentrated, while industries that serve for production tend to be spatially dispersed; (2) the evolution characteristics and trajectories of industrial agglomeration vary by industries: wholesale and retail trade and real estate are becoming more spatially dispersed; information industries, leasing and commercial services, scientific research and polytechnic services, as well as finance are experiencing continuous spatial agglomeration; construction and manufacturing show a tendency of transfer from spatial agglomeration to spatial dispersion; (3) since 1990, most industries in the Yangtze River Delta have formed distinct spatial patterns of industrial specialization. Most core cities have experienced obvious deindustrialization processes; and high-end industries are clustering to the three biggest core cities of Shanghai, Nanjing, and Hangzhou.

Keywords: geographical concentration; industrial cluster; EG index; big data; production network (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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