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The coastal-inland income gap in China from 1991 to 1999: the role of geography and policy

Zhao-Hua Wang () and R. O'Brien

Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics from University of Southampton, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences

Abstract: We investigate the enlarging coastal-inland income gap in China during the 1990s, using GMM estimation of a Solow growth model. Disaggregating capital investment by source: public, foreign and private: helps to disentangle the effect of policy from those of geography. The impact of public investment on growth is insignificant in our panel data for 29 provinces; that of foreign investment is significant; private investment is most influential. We also use the distance by railway of each province’s capital city to its nearest port city as a proxy for transportation costs, and find significant differences across regions. Distance has negative effects on economic development but its marginal impact effects become less as distance increases. The coastal-inland gap will grow in the foreseeable future, if inland areas are not able to benefit from an increase in private investment and infrastructure improvements (to reduce transport costs).

Date: 2003-01-01
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