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Synergetic Effect and Spatial-Temporal Evolution of Railway Transportation in Sustainable Development of Trade: An Empirical Study Based on the Belt and Road

Qipeng Sun (), Xiu Wang (), Fei Ma (), Yanhu Han () and Qianqian Cheng ()
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Qipeng Sun: School of Economics and Management, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710064, China
Xiu Wang: School of Economics and Management, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710064, China
Fei Ma: School of Economics and Management, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710064, China
Yanhu Han: School of Economics and Management, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710064, China
Qianqian Cheng: School of Economics and Management, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710064, China

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 6, 1-22

Abstract: The low-energy consumption and large-capacity of railway transportation play vital catalytic roles in economy and trade. Scientific research investigating the relationship between railway transportation and trade is important in promoting their coordinated development, exerting their synergistic effects, and realizing sustainable trade. Given the serious imbalance between the development of railway transportation and trade of countries along the “the Belt and Road” (The “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”), we used the entropy weight method to calculate the level of railway transportation and trade development, and then calculated the coordination degrees of the countries along the Belt and Road between them using the coupling-coordination model. The results showed that the average coupling degree between railway transportation and trade development was 0.728, which means that there is a strong interaction between railway transportation and trade. Only 25% of these countries achieved highly coordinated development, and these countries could achieve sustainable trade by fully utilizing the synergetic effect of railway transportation and trade. The coordination degrees of countries along the Belt and Road have strong spatial agglomeration, and the performance of Middle and Eastern European countries is better. Finally, we put forward some suggestions, such as strengthening the construction of railway infrastructure, improving the railway operation level, developing multimodal transport, and enlarging the role of the railway transportation network in the trade of the Belt and Road to achieve sustainable trade.

Keywords: sustainable trade; railway transportation; synergy effect; the Belt and Road (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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