Economic Geography, Spatial Dependence and Income Inequality in China
This paper contributes to the analysis of growing income disparities within China. Based on a structural model of economic geography using data on per capita income, we evaluate the extent to which market proximity and spatial dependence can explain growing income inequality between Chinese cities. We rely on a data set of 195 Chinese cities between 1995 and 2002. Our econometric specification incorporates an explicit consideration of spatial dependence effects in the form of spatially lagged per capita income. We provide evidence that the geography of access to markets is statistically significant in explaining variation in per capita income in China, especially so in provinces with low migration inflows which is coherent with NEG theory.
Income inequality; economic geography; spatial dependence; China
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