Economic growth spillover and spatial optimization brought by high-speed railway

WANG Yufei1 NI Pengfei1,2

(1.National Academy of Economic Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China 100028)
(2.Center for City & Competitiveness, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China 100028)

【Abstract】Traffic has growth effect and structural effect on the economic development. The growth effect lies in the regional economic spillovers brought by traffic development. The structural effect is the change of spatial economic pattern resulting from traffic development. These two coexisting effects caused by traffic development are both enhanced by the development of high-speed railway. The paper reviews the mechanism of these two effects in transportation development. Including the shortest temporal distance between cities into the empirical test, the paper verifies the two effects of traffic development on economic growth through spatial econometric model and metacartography. Based on the econometric results of 284 Chinese cities, it is proved that the spillover effects of regional economic growth in China has increased since the opening of high-speed rail. The result also shows that traffic has growth effect on economic growth. According to the map of the shortest temporal distance between Shanghai and other Chinese cities, the paper concludes that traffic development has structural effect over economic development through changing the regional and urban spatial structure, distribution structure and hierarchical structure. Nationwide, the eastern and central Chinese cities with relatively better economic foundations are being centralized while the northeastern and western regions are faced with the possibilities of marginalization.

【Keywords】 high-speed railway; economic growth; spatial spillover; spatial optimization;


【Funds】 Major Project of National Social Sciences Foundation of China (09&ZD027) Innovative Project of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (2016CJY006)

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    [1]. ① Considering the large difference between the speeds of airplane and other means of transportation, the time spent by airplane will make the high-speed rail’s influence on some cities be neglected. The data are also not easy to obtain. Hence we do not add the data on aviation in the calculation of shortest temporal distance. In addition, this paper roughly treats the mileage of high-speed rail equivalent to that of ordinary railway. We distinguish their difference in speed. [^Back]

    [2]. ① The samples involve 294 cities above the prefecture level in China, and the computation of the shortest temporal distance between each pair of cities by four modes of transportation is needed. Thus, the calculation of the matrix requires a large amount of work and the calculation process is complex. Due to the space limitations, we do not provide the calculation process in this paper. [^Back]

    [3]. ① This paper uses the geographical distance weight matrix and temporal distance weight matrix (temporal distance including high-speed railway and excluding high-speed railway). We add different spatial weight matrixes into the model. According to the decision rules of SLM and SEM, all the results accept the SEM. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3536/F

Vol , No. 02, Pages 21-36

February 2016


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 The mechanism of traffic’s impact on regional economic growth and spatial pattern
  • 3 Measurement model of spatial spillover effect
  • 4 Empirical test and analysis
  • 5 New changes in China’s economic spatial pattern under the influence of high-speed railway
  • 6 Conclusion
  • Footnote