TITLE

Economic Growth and Expansion of China's Urban Land Area: Evidence from Administrative Data and Night Lights, 1993-2012

AUTHOR(S)
Gibson, John; Chao Li; Boe-Gibson, Geua
PUB. DATE
November 2014
SOURCE
Sustainability (2071-1050);2014, Vol. 6 Issue 11, p7850
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The relationship between economic growth, expansion of urban land area and the broader issue of cultivated land conversion in China has been closely examined for the late 1980s and 1990s. Much less is known about recent urban expansion and if the effects of economic growth on this expansion have changed over time. This paper updates estimates of urban expansion for China and examines the relationship with city economic growth for 1993-2012. To see if patterns are robust to different types of evidence, administrative data on the area of 225 urban cores are compared to estimates of brightly lit areas from remotely sensed night lights. The trend annual expansion rate in lit area is 8% and was significantly faster in the decade to 2002 than in the most recent decade. Expansion is slower according to administrative data, at just 5% per annum, with no change in unconditional expansion rates between decades, while conditional expansion rates have declined. The elasticity of area with respect to city economic output is about 0.3. Over time, expansion of urban land area is becoming less responsive to the growth of the local non-agricultural population.
ACCESSION #
99677523

 

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