Do Administrative Boundaries Matter for Uneven Economic Development? A Case Study of China's Provincial Border Counties

Authors

  • Xuebo Zhang,

  • Cansong Li,

  • Wei Li,

  • Jinping Song,

  • Chengfeng Yang


  • Xuebo Zhang is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, and a lecturer at School of Tourism and Resource Environment, Zaozhuang University. His e-mail address is: xuebozhang@126.com. Cansong Li is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, and an association professor at Geographical Environment and the Frontier Development of Collaborative Innovation Center in Southwestern China, Yunnan Normal University. His e-mail address is: cansongli@126.com. Wei Li also is a Ph.D. candidate at College of Urban and Environmental Science, Peking University. His e-mail address is: xiari.liwei@163.com. Dr. Jinping Song is a Full Professor at the School of Geography, Beijing Normal University. He is the corresponding author of the paper and his e-mail address is: songjp@bnu.edu.cn.. Dr. Chengfeng Yang is a Lecturer at College of Territorial Resources and Tourism, Anhui Normal University. Her e-mail address is: phoenixycf@mail.bnu.edu.cn. They thank the anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments on the paper.

Abstract

This paper uses China's provincial border counties as samples to explore the role played by administrative boundaries in uneven regional economic development. The results indicate that the gap between provincial border counties and other regions is increasing and that economic diffusion to provincial border counties from developed regions is extremely weak. Moreover, provincial border counties have become economically backward. A regression analysis model that includes certain novel factors that are likely to influence economic growth confirms the significant effects of government intervention and administrative boundaries on economic growth in provincial border counties. This paper concludes that administrative boundaries' effects should be nullified by limiting preferential development policies and implementing policies that instead help provincial border counties engage in sustainable development.

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