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Efficiency of construction land allocation in China: An econometric analysis of panel data

Liu, Yansui, Zhang, Ziwen, Zhou, Yang
Land use policy 2018 v.74 pp. 261-272
arable soils, capital, labor, land resources, land use and land cover maps, land use planning, production functions, sustainable land management, urban planning, China
The optimal allocation of land resources is an important prerequisite for sustainable land use and for synergic development of regional resources-environment-economy. The question on how to optimize and allocate the regional land resources has become a hotspot in land use and land cover change studies. However, the allocative efficiency of China’s construction land is currently a rather rudimentary and subjective issue. This study used an extended Cobb-Douglas production function to measure the allocative efficiency of construction land at the national and regional levels using balanced provincial panel data from the 1985–2014 period. The results showed that China’s construction land has exhibited a significant increasing trend over the past three decades, and its growth rate in the central region was relatively higher than that in the eastern and western regions. There is little or no available arable land that can be occupied by construction uses in China’s economically developed provinces. Further investigations demonstrated that capital, labor and land investment all contributed to the non-agricultural GDP growth in China. The allocative efficiency of construction land in the eastern region was greater than that in the central and western regions. The efficiency of construction land allocation in China needs to be further improved, and the intensive utilization of land resource is necessary, particularly in the context of China’s “new normal” economy. Because of the regional disparities in the efficiency of construction land allocation, formulating specific region-oriented land use planning may be more urgent. These findings can provide policymakers with a sound basis for land use and urban planning.