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Regional catching up and productivity growth in Chinese reform period

Liqun Jia (UN Researcher, United Nations Centre for Regional Development, Yokkaichi, Japan)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 1 July 1998


Following the catching‐up hypothesis and using new published provincial data, this paper examines Chinese regional productivity growth by way of catch‐up in the reform period. It provides a general catch‐up measurement and a special assessment for regional development “trickle‐down” effects. Number of measurements include regional productivity averages, indices, growth rates, absolute increments, the coefficients of variation, rank correlation coefficients, and so on. The study indicates that the strength of Chinese catch‐up varied from time to time with weakened potentiality and the regional development spreading effects from coastal area to interior provinces have been limited so far. The review of social capabilities indicates that their different degrees of development acted to limit the strength of technological potentiality in the interior areas, though such changes on their surface did not exhibit the uniformly self‐limiting character for different regions. Furthermore, the pace of realization of the potentiality for catch‐up was affected by a number of factors that govern the diffusion of knowledge, the mobility of resources and the rate of investment.



Jia, L. (1998), "Regional catching up and productivity growth in Chinese reform period", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 25 No. 6/7/8, pp. 1160-1177.




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