Connective Financing - Chinese Infrastructure Projects and the Diffusion of Economic Activity in Developing Countries
53 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2020
Date Written: 2020
This paper studies the causal effect of transport infrastructure on the spatial concentration of economic activity. Leveraging a new global dataset of geo-located Chinese government-financed projects over the period from 2000 to 2014 together with measures of spatial inequality based on remotely-sensed data, we analyse the effects of transport projects on the spatial distribution of economic activity within and between regions in a large number of developing countries. We find that Chinese-financed transportation projects reduce spatial concentration within but not between regions. In line with land use theory, we document a range of results which are consistent with a relocation of activity from city centers to their immediate periphery. Transport projects decentralize activity particularly strongly in regions that are more urbanized, located closer to the coast, and less developed. .
JEL Classification: F150, F350, R110, R120, P330, O180, O190
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