Understanding Regional Development Mechanisms in Greater Beijing Area, China, 1995-2001, from a Spatial-Temporal Perspective

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Due to its rapid economic gains in recent decades, studies of China's regional development have recently attracted scholarly attentions. Multi-scalar and multi-mechanism are proposed as crucial approaches in China's regional studies. More advanced methodological development in GIS and spatial analysis also lends power to in-depth understanding of China's regional development. This study examines the development mechanisms from a spatial-temporal perspective in Greater Beijing Area (GBA), China. In particular, with panel data of GBA from 1995 to 2001 at county level, the study intends to apply a spatial panel regression analysis to study the well identified regional development mechanisms, namely, institutional factors, globalization and urbanization. Based on the panel data analysis, a tentative geographically and temporally weighted regression (GTWR) is also proposed to explore the potentially varying relationships between economic development and its mechanisms from a space-time standpoint. Results from the analyses are quite interesting. First, when urbanization seems to hinder regional development in GBA with cross-sectional analysis, the spatial panel analysis indicates that urbanization contributes to GBA's development in the 7 years span. Second, per capita foreign investment, which was usually deemed one of the major factors of globalization and a financial engine for regional development in the reform China, turns out to be a negligible mechanism in GBA's development. Third, among all the development mechanisms, the government's financial capability seems to dominate the regional development in GBA. GTWR analysis further revealed potential non-stationary relationships among the modeled variables, indicating that the functions of regional development mechanisms are inherently heterogeneous both spatially and temporally in GBA.



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