SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2023, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (4): 617-628.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2023.04.005

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Resource spatial misallocation of cities in China: Characteristic measurement and spatio-temporal evolution

Cheng Kaiming(), Yu Jinghan()   

  1. School of Statistics and Mathematics, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou 310018, Zhejiang, China
  • Received:2022-01-28 Revised:2022-10-02 Online:2023-04-30 Published:2023-04-20
  • Contact: Yu Jinghan;
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Foundation of China(20&ZD133)


Since the reform and opening up, China has gradually formed a more sound commodity market, but the reform of factor market allocation has lagged behind relatively. The markets for capital, labor, land and other factors of production are still not perfect, and the problem of resource allocation significantly affects the transformation of China's productive forces and production relations. Due to the significant differences in resource endowments in different regions and the restrictions on the free flow of factors by administrative barriers, the cost of factor flow and access to regions is high and resources cannot flow smoothly to advantageous locations. This leads to uneven resource allocation between regions and spatial misallocation of resources. The spatial misallocation of resources not only triggers competition for regional resources, intensifies local protectionism, and leads to more serious structural imbalances such as industrial structure convergence, duplication of major facilities construction and excessive market competition in various regions, but also aggravates problems such as urban traffic congestion, housing tension and environmental pollution due to unbalanced resource allocation. Therefore, a comprehensive and in-depth exploration of the characteristics of resource misallocation in China and its spatial and temporal evolution pattern is of great theoretical and practical significance for the government to re-examine the characteristics of factor mismatch, clarify the direction of optimising resource allocation and promote factor market-oriented reforms. To accurately reflect the spatial mismatch degree and spatial-temporal evolution law of city resources, this paper measures the mismatch degree of capital, labor, and land resources in cities at the prefecture level and above in China from 2003 to 2018 based on the extended three-factor spatial general equilibrium model. We use spatio-temporal kernel density and comprehensive coordination index to analyze the changing trend of city resources spatial mismatch, spatial agglomeration pattern, and the coordination degree of factor marketization reform. The results show that: 1) The variation trend of city spatial mismatch degree of different resources is different. The misallocation of capital and labor space continues to improve, but the misallocation of land space first alleviates and then intensifies. The administrative force hindering the market flow of resources is an important factor aggravating the land misallocation. 2) The spatial agglomeration patterns of the three resources among cities are different. The spatial allocation of city capital and land resources has strong regional bias and convergence, and the resource allocation of neighboring cities shows a high-high, low-low positive agglomeration pattern. However, household registration barriers and unequal public services hinder the free flow of city labor, making it difficult to achieve a balanced allocation of labor resources between cities, and the labor resources in neighboring cities show a high-low negative agglomeration pattern. 3) Neighboring cities have consistency in capital market reform and land policy adjustment. However, the coordination degree of labor mismatch between cities is worsening. Northeast China has the lowest degree of synergy in factor marketization reform. The research conclusion of this paper provides a reference for improving the mechanism of market-oriented allocation of factors and clarifying the evolution path and optimization strategy of resource allocation at the city level.

Key words: spatial misallocation of resources, kernel density estimation, spatial aggregation pattern, coordination index

CLC Number: 

  • F224.0