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Open AccessArticle

Regional Inequality in China Based on NPP-VIIRS Night-Time Light Imagery

1
Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Department of Economics and Management, Yuncheng University, Yuncheng 044000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020240
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 February 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night Lights – Beyond DMSP)
Regional economic inequality is a persistent problem for all nations. Meanwhile, satellite-derived night-time light (NTL) data have been extensively used as an efficient proxy measure for economic activity. This study firstly proposes a new method for correction of the NTL data derived from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite and then applies the corrected NTL data to estimate gross domestic product (GDP) at a multi-scale level in China from 2014 to 2017. Secondly, incorporating the two-stage nested Theil decomposition method, multi-scale level regional inequalities are investigated. Finally, by using scatter plots, this paper identifies the relationship between the regional inequality and the level of economic development. The results indicate that: (1) after correction, the NPP-VIIRS NTL data show a statistically positive correlation with GDP, which proves that our correction method is scientifically effective; (2) from 2014 to 2017, overall inequality, within-province inequality, and between-region inequality all declined, However, between-province inequality increased slightly. As for the contributions to overall regional inequality, the within-province inequality was the highest, while the between-province inequality was the lowest; (3) further analysis of within-province inequality reveals that economic inequalities in coastal provinces in China are smaller than in inland provinces; (4) China’s economic development plays an important role in affecting regional inequality, and the extent of influence of economic development on regional inequality is varied across provinces. View Full-Text
Keywords: Regional Inequality; NPP-VIIRS; Theil index; China Regional Inequality; NPP-VIIRS; Theil index; China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, R.; Yang, D.; Dong, J.; Zhang, L.; Xia, F. Regional Inequality in China Based on NPP-VIIRS Night-Time Light Imagery. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 240.

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