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Dynamics of Multi-Scale Intra-Provincial Regional Inequality in Zhejiang, China

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Department of Land Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China
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Key Laboratory of Carrying Capacity Assessment for Resource and Environment, Ministry of Land and Resources, Beijing 101149, China
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Center for Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, China
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Department of Geography, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
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College of Geography and Tourism, Hainan Normal University, Haikou 571158, China
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Department of Geography & Geology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5763-5784; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6095763
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 28 July 2014 / Accepted: 1 August 2014 / Published: 29 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
This paper investigates regional inequality in a multi-scale framework, using Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis, based on the per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of counties and municipalities within the Zhejiang province in China between the years of 1990 and 2010. A Spatial Markov Chain is used to identify the dynamics of regional wealth disparity in Zhejiang. The results show that the regional inequality of Zhejiang is sensitive to the geographic scale of the analysis. In addition, the inter-county inequality shows an inverted-U shape pattern. At the same time, the inter-municipality inequality displays a more consistently upward trend, and the evolution of the interregional inequality is relatively stable over time. The regional inequality is more significant at finer (larger) spatial scales. The decomposition of the Theil Index shows that the contribution of the inequalities between Northeast Zhejiang and Southwest Zhejiang increased. The increasingly larger values of the Global Moran’s I show that there is an intensifying spatial aggregation of economic development. The comparison of the traditional Markov transition matrix and the Spatial Markov transition matrix illustrates how the relative wealth or poverty of neighboring counties make a significance difference in wealth in a given county as measured using domestic GDP per capita in Zhejiang province. This space-time analysis is valuable for policy making towards sustainable economic development in China given the soaring spatial inequality. View Full-Text
Keywords: regional inequality; Theil index; ESDA (Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis); spatial Markov chains regional inequality; Theil index; ESDA (Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis); spatial Markov chains
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Yue, W.; Zhang, Y.; Ye, X.; Cheng, Y.; Leipnik, M.R. Dynamics of Multi-Scale Intra-Provincial Regional Inequality in Zhejiang, China. Sustainability 2014, 6, 5763-5784.

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