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Political hierarchy and favoritism for the emergence of new industry in Chinese cities

Authors: Wenying Fu*, Northumbria University, Daniel Schiller, University of Greifswald
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: New industry; Political hierarch; Political Favoritism; City regions
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The gradual rise of Neo-Techno-Nationalism (NTN) in China marks a new process of regional industrial evolution whereby the state takes a leading role in venturing technological innovation, investing in large-scale infrastructure, and forcing through favorable regulations for new industries. The recent expansion of solar panel industry, electric car industry, AI industry (e.g. facial recognition), etc. in China has well exemplified such nationalistic efforts to boost world-leading indigenous capabilities. The study takes the starting point of inquiry from this changing context and examines how political hierarchy and political favoritism in China exert influence on radical industrial evolution of the city regions. The political hierarchy represents a relatively stable attribute in the regime of communist party with regard to local fiscal autonomy, which the political favoritism bears more dynamic nature with the changing fractions within the party that gives ad-hoc access to state-controlled resources. Empirically, radical industrial evolution will be measured by China high-tech authorized firm dataset. Novel indicators will be established to proxy political hierarchy and political favoritism at the level of prefecture city alongside other controlled regional attributes. Finally, the paper reflects on the geographical political implication of the results for advancing the studies on evolutionary economic geography.

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