Distance, Accessibility and Innovation: A Study on the Optimal Working Radius of High-speed Railway Opening for Urban Innovation
- YE Dezhu, PAN Shuang, WU Wenjie, ZHOU Hao
- Jinan University, 510632.
High-speed rail has reduced the time and space distance between small and medium-sized cities and central cities, reshaping the spatial allocation of talents which is the primary factor of innovation, and broadening the space for small and medium-sized cities to absorb innovative resources. This paper adopts the 2005—2015 panel data of 284 prefecture-level cities nationwide, and uses the high-speed rail as a quasi-natural experiment to construct a PSM-DID model to test the proposition about “distance and urban innovation”. The empirical results show that: (1) the opening of high-speed rail significantly improves the overall level of urban innovation in the country; (2) the effect on urban innovation decreases as the distance from central city increases; at the same time, due to the siphon effect, the high-speed railway opening has not obvious effect on urban innovation within the 100 km range around the central city. Considering both effects, the effect of high-speed railway opening on urban innovation shows the type structure in the dimension of “distance from the central city”, and its optimal working radius is within 200 km from the central city; (3) the effect varies from place to place but generally wanes as the existing high-speed rail ages; (4) one way for high-speed railway opening to improve urban innovation is by promoting urban economic agglomeration. The conclusions of this paper still hold after the treatment of robustness test, placebo test and instrumental variables, and can provide reference for the differentiated development and positioning of small and medium-sized cities.
JEL：R11, R40, O18
- Urban Innovation, High-speed Railway, Distance, Accessibility, Economic Agglomeration