Delineating China’s Metropolitan Areas Using Commuting Flow Data
46 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2022 Last revised: 17 Aug 2022
Date Written: March 8, 2022
This paper provides the first delineation of China’s commuting-based metropolitan areas (MAs) using a new source of commuting flow data at fine geographic levels. We find that the commuting-based MAs rarely cross prefectural boundaries and are small relative to those in other countries. This is consistent with the fact that commutes in China are overwhelmingly short and largely confined by administrative boundaries. We compare commuting-based MAs with other definitions of cities and show that different definitions lead to different system-of-city properties. Our preferred definition approximates local labor markets in China while balancing practical considerations such as the comparability with the official definition and the availability of statistics.
Keywords: Metropolitan areas, local labor market, commuting flows
JEL Classification: R12, R23, R41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation