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Open AccessArticle

A Comprehensive Assessment and Spatial Analysis of Vulnerability of China’s Provincial Economies

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School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
2
College of Economics, Northwest Minzu University, Lanzhou 730030, China
3
School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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College of Jianghe Architecture, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110169, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041261
Received: 4 March 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Geography: Location, Innovation and Sustainable Development)
Vulnerability theory is a fundamental scientific knowledge system in sustainable development, and vulnerability assessment is important in vulnerability studies. Economic vulnerability affects economic growth sustainability. Comprehensive assessment of economic vulnerability in the process of economic growth under the theoretical framework of vulnerability will provide a new perspective for vulnerability studies. Based on a vulnerability scoping diagram assessment model, this study selected 22 economic sensitivity indexes and 25 economic adaptability indexes from the economic, social, and nature–resource–environmental subsystems to comprehensively assess and spatially analyse the vulnerability of China’s provincial economies since the year 2000, while applying the entropy method, multilevel extension assessment, spatial measurement method, and geographic information system technology. The results showed the following: (1) There are great differences in the vulnerability of China’s provincial economies. Western China’s vulnerability is higher and the fluctuation range of economic vulnerability is larger. The vulnerability increased significantly based on spatial differential features; (2) Regional differences in economic vulnerability, mainly caused by differences within a region, increased gradually. Eastern and Western China showed the spatial pattern characteristics of prominent and reinforcing regional imbalance, while Central and Northeast China showed declining regional imbalance. The spatial structure evolution of economic vulnerability is characterized by a volatility curve, and regional separation and divergence are strengthened; (3) Growth of China’s provincial economies and economic vulnerability are related negatively. In Eastern, Central, and Northeast China, vulnerability of the provincial economies has a negative spillover effect on neighbouring provinces’ economic growth, while in Western China it has a slight positive spillover effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: economic vulnerability; comprehensive assessment; multilevel extension assessment method; spatial analysis economic vulnerability; comprehensive assessment; multilevel extension assessment method; spatial analysis
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Ren, C.; Zhai, G.; Zhou, S.; Chen, W.; Li, S. A Comprehensive Assessment and Spatial Analysis of Vulnerability of China’s Provincial Economies. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1261.

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