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Airports, access and local economic performance: evidence from China

Gibbons, Stephen ORCID: 0000-0002-2871-8562 and Wu, Wenjie (2019) Airports, access and local economic performance: evidence from China. Journal of Economic Geography. ISSN 1468-2702

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jeg/lbz021


In this article, we study the effect of airports on local economic performance that arises from better access to domestic markets in the context of China’s recent airport network expansion. We measure access through the changes in network closeness centrality implied by the contraction in potential journey times between counties within China. Our key finding is that better access—primarily due to landside distance reductions to airports—increased manufacturing productivity. The analysis is carried out on a panel of counties built from micro data on industrial firms, administrative records and census data. To mitigate endogeneity issues, we focus on a subsample of ‘incidentally’ affected counties, whose location midway between existing and new airports implies that they were neither explicitly targeted for development nor directly affected by airport operations.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H54 - Infrastructures; Other Public Investment and Capital Stock
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O2 - Development Planning and Policy > O21 - Planning Models; Planning Policy
P - Economic Systems > P2 - Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies > P25 - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics; Housing; Transportation
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R4 - Transportation Systems > R41 - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2019 09:21
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 07:36

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