Zhengyun Sun Humanities and Social Science
Explaining Regional Disparities of China's Economic Growth: Policy or Geography?
Astonishing development that China has achieved for the past 30 years following the Open and Reform in 1978 is unquestionable. What behind, however, is notable disparity of growth between coastal and inland regions. While previous studies focus on preferential policies, the crux of my project centers on answering the question: how geographic features and construction of transportation networks on top of policies explain economic growth of Chinese regions in the last three decades? My analysis will assess the relative importance of geographic features, transportation networks and preferential policies during each policy stage defined by Open and Reform in 1980s favoring the coast, general open door stage that eliminated coastal policy advantages in 1990s and Western Development Drives targeting inland regions after 2000. The results will hint on how development policies should and could overcome specific barriers to economic growth and to achieve balanced overall growth.