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Effect of land-centered urbanization on rural development: A regional analysis in China

Feng, Weilun, Liu, Yansui, Qu, Lulu
Land use policy 2019 v.87 pp. 104072
cities, finance, geography, models, rural areas, rural development, urbanization, China
Since the late 1970s, China has undergone an unprecedented urbanization process. With land finance as the main driving force, land-centered urbanization has not only greatly accelerated China’s economic and social development, but it has also had negative effects on social development and the environment. Amid the concerns regarding China's land-centered urbanization process, there have been growing calls for greater attention to be focused on the decline of rural China. The urban-rural relationship is the most basic social and economic relationship, a topic which has become a hotspot in geography, economics and sociology studies in recent decades. Based on panel data from 298 cities in China, from the 2001–2013 period, this paper uses the extended Cobb-Douglas model to measure the effect of land-centered urbanization on rural development, and its spatial pattern characteristics. The results show that, during the period from 2001 to 2013, China's urbanization level increased steadily, while the level of rural development showed a trend of declining first and then rising. Moreover, land-centered urbanization significantly promoted the development of rural areas nationwide, and urbanization’s influence intensity displayed strong regional and particularity characteristics. Generally, compared with the relatively poor areas in the central and western regions, urbanization in the economically developed areas has a stronger driving effect on rural development. The findings have an important reference value for policy-makers in new-type urbanization and rural revitalization strategies for China.