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Market Accessibility, Spatial Agglomeration Economies and the Development of High-speed Rail Station Area

【Authors】
WANG Yuan
【WorkUnit】
East China Normal University, 200062.
【Abstract】

Creating new towns has become a widely-used city development strategy of China's local governments in recent years. As the high-speed rail (HSR) network rapidly expands, the newly-created station areas play an important part in this strategy. According to theories of the new economic geography, market accessibility is one critical determinant of the clustering of firms and residents. This paper investigates the effect of accessibility to other cities as well as to city center on the development of the station area. Based on the night-light data at a geographic unit of approximately 1 km2 and data on the newly-open HSR stations during 2009 and 2014, this paper finds that the opening of the HSR station does not show any significantly positive effect on the economic activity density in the station area, relative to the neighboring areas. This paper further measures the accessibility to other cities using a network dataset containing HSR, rail and highway. It uses the distance from the station area to city center to measure its accessibility to city center. Results show that the economic development of HSR station area significantly depends on its accessibility to other cities as well as city center. These results suggest that the agglomeration economies from the outside and inside are essential for the development of new towns. By increasing the access to other cities, the connection of HSR may generate an engine for the economic agglomeration of the station area. However, the poor accessibility to city center constrains the development of station area and may lead to inefficient investment in HSR new towns.

 

JEL:R11, O18, P25

【KeyWords】
Market Accessibility, Agglomeration Economies, High-speed Rail, New Town, Night-light