Globalization and specialization of Chinese cities 2010-2016: towards more or less urban resilience?

Authors: Celine Rozenblat*, Universite De Lausanne
Topics: Urban Geography, China, Economic Geography
Keywords: Cities, China, Globalization, specialization, related variety, Networks, resilience
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Diplomat Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Chinese cities integrated very quickly global economic networks since 2010. Internationalized firms transformed economics of these cities, reinforcing previous specializations or introducing new ones. Cities’ development largely depends on their industrial performance and conversely, industries’ development is supported by a set of specialized cities. Activities evolve according to product cycles and are more profitable for cities’ growth when they are in emerging stages. However, activities do not develop independently of each other, since a final product is often the result of a necessary contribution of different activity sectors. Their combinations create a potential for innovation, especially in cities that combine them. One assume that diversified cities, because of potential recombination of activities, are more resilient to economic uncertainty than specialized ones.
The aim of the paper is to describe the fast integration of Chinese cities in global networks and the evolution of the activities of foreign and domestic global firms. Therefore, the paper proposes to evaluate the extent to which cities benefit from specialization, diversity or related variety for their resilience against unemployment and regarding the increase of wealth (GDP per inhabitants) considering the structural properties of their activities, and the interplay between activities’ dynamics.

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