Research Paper on The Influence Of Transportation Infrastructure on Economic Development in China

Published: 2023-01-28
Research Paper on The Influence Of Transportation Infrastructure on Economic Development in China
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Economics
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1449 words
13 min read


While China continues to grow in areas such as medicine and education; its economy has played a critical role in ensuring significant milestones in its development are met. Since changes in technology and policies in the government began in 1970, China has experienced high commercial development. China has witnessed a fast growth of the transport network along with the rise in GDP. Over the past 20 years, China has spent heavily on government facilities (Harrington & Daniels, 2012). Such expenditure has given market access in the transportation sector, enabled national market incorporation, reduced manufacturing and logistics expenses, and enabled China to contend locally and internationally (Appleby, 2008). Together with adding to development, this expenditure has contributed straight to poverty reduction by enhancing access to facilities and financial possibilities.

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Targeted expenditure on infrastructure was also a component of domestic programs for poverty alleviation (Wang, 2013). Since the 1990s and notably since the 10th Five-Year Plan, with its proactive fiscal strategy to stimulate financial development and decrease inequality through stronger transportation investment in housing facilities by the Chinese government has risen significantly (Wu, 2013). There has been a considerable advancement in increasing the amount and performance of rural roads. Nearly all regions in China can fit roads, which implies that roads are more available than other modes of travel, thus playing a significant part in regional economic advancement and poverty alleviation (Zheng, 2018).

The government in China invested 920 million yuan annually in constructing residential roads in 529 less developed counties in 21 provinces during the 8-7 poverty reduction program that was meant to improve the lives of over 75 million Chinese living with poverty (Fan & Chankang, 2013). Every year, 42,000 kilometers of new national roads were constructed during the schedule era, and the performance of residential streets significantly enhanced. In 1998, the Chinese government chose to further boost facilities development, with district and municipal road networks being one of its goals (Fujiwara & Zhang, 2013). By the beginning of 2002, there were 1,065 million kilometers of the district and municipal highways-244,000 kilometers greater than in 1995.

In the mid-1990s, the Roads Improvement for Poverty Alleviation (RIPA) program was introduced in chosen provinces with assistance from the World Bank (Hendrischke, 2013). RIPA relies on connecting small towns and townships that presently do not have fundamental all-time connections to current highway networks (Jonson & Tengstrom, 2006). In the situation of Henan Province, the quantitative analysis arising from an ex-post assessment of the RIPA parts revealed that distant villages that had previously participated in subsistence farming had produced significantly stronger strides in economic growth, social development, and poverty alleviation than similar communities in power fields.

This study examines the impact of transport networks in China to highlight this critical debate. China and colonial powers decided to create railways linking historic urban areas with each other and a newer Treaty port, and this was a significant breakthrough for the nation. China has established road and rail networks, such that access to transport network is more comfortable and more accessible from any region in the country understanding the role that this transport network is critical to the understanding of the developments in the economy and their role in improving China's Status today. The study focuses on historical data from 1970 to 2017.

Review of Literature

In several empirical research, the statistic link between transportation infrastructure inventory and economic growth in several nations has been created in the last few centuries (Naughton, 2007). The critical strategy findings of these research relate to transportation investment output elasticity. Kamps (2006) used panel information over the 1960-2001 phases for 22 OECD counties and established a median elasticity of 0.22 for all panel nations. In the meantime, research on this matter in the situation of China has been carried out. Ma and Li (2001) examined, using an econometric model, the effect on the private sector of transport infrastructure capital stocks, and the production elasticity was 0.55 from the 1981-1999 period. Lou (2003) carried out an empirical study of the connection between the investment and economic growth of China's shipping infrastructure in the long run. From 1949 to 1999, the output elasticity for household transportation infrastructure was 0.23. These results are consistent with Zhang (2007), who found that elasticity over 1993-2004 was 0.1061.

In the previous 60 years, numerous policies and organizational changes have influenced China's growth in transportation infrastructure (Fan & Chan-Kang 2008). The concentrated decision-making framework applicable during the pre-reform era to all types of assets, including those in the building of infrastructure. Centralization meant spending in heavy-duty technology that had a specific impact on transportation systems, in particular, shipping services (Bongardt, Creutzig, Huging, Sakamoto, Bakker, Gota & Bolher, 2013). In the north-eastern region of China, where the majority of the heavy industry resided, the growth of the transport network was highlighted as necessary. Investments in different kinds of shipping equipment have increased substantially since economic improvements started in 1970. In an attempt to draw FDI (overseas direct capital) and capital from domestic State-owned companies, both central state and local authorities decided stronger shipping facilities. (Zhang, 2009) found that despite significant attempts to enhance transportation infrastructure, China's system remains inadequate to meet its flourishing economy's enormous requirement.

On the other hand, Wu (2009) explains that the National transport network scale is comparatively low, and road congestion in Chinese cities is worsening. Mackett, May, Kii, and Pan (2013) found that China is renowned for its elevated density of vehicles in Asia. China's railway system has soon endured a heavy strain compared to other nations. Since China is geographically large, there are distinct regional requirements for constructing infrastructure in different areas of China. In addition to differential external geographical circumstances, during its transformation to a market-based economy, China also encountered increasing interprovincial inequality. The regional-based strategy has pushed the Mediterranean western areas with the most significant share of public spending.

China implemented the '' ladder-step growth approach'' in the beginning phases of financial regulation: the state urged some areas to get wealthy rapidly (Wei, 1999). Wei (1999) found that this has resulted in the western area since 1978 to more significant financial development and a more sophisticated economy. Local authorities gradually took over control over transportation expenditure with the fiscal decentralization that began in 1994 (Zhang, Gao, Fu, & Zhang, 2007). Investment in shipping infrastructure in the East saw a rigorous increase in 1995 and an unusually steady rise since 2002 (Szyliowicz, Zamaprini, Reiners & Rhoades, 2016). Owing to favorable environmental circumstances and a partial development strategy, the Eastern region's local authorities have had sufficient chance to carry out major travel initiatives. Wu (2013) explains that even though the profit percentage in the Eastern area has decreased in the latest years, still it represents half of the complete expenditure in the nation. As far as the service inventory is concerned, the western region speaks for 31% of the entire ground area of the country, while it pays for 57.74% of the service facilities inventory of the nation in 2009.

Wu (2013) states that although China has taken significant steps to enhance the development of travel infrastructure, the use of this fresh transportation equipment at the sub-national stage has received little publicity. Based on the differential current geographical circumstances and financial results, the distinct areas of China conducted differently when using their primary transportation infrastructure. Traffic bottlenecks have worsened in the western cities in the latest years.

Particularly during the Chinese Spring Festival, together with other significant domestic days, travelers, and cargo transportation on central installations lead to severe congestion in the cities (Ministry of Transportation, 2009). On the other hand, Liu, Zhang, & Peng (2009) found that most of the western region's primary transport connections have soon been overloaded. Take the instance of the Jin-Hu line. Since the 1970s, Jing-Hu Line's travel capability usage percentage has exceeded 90 percent, which is well above the critical railway proportion. For the west, all formal information shows that the Chinese government has started to accentuate expenditure in the building of global transport facilities (Wu, 2009). Investing in road construction, however, which was responsible for a significant portion of the sum, did not dramatically improve the usage level (Liu, Zhang, & Peng, 2009).

The literature review shows the presence of disparities between 1970 and 2017 in the allocation and usage of travel infrastructure in distinct areas. Despite continuous attempts by the Chinese government, the gap between less-developed inland provinces and the'' booming''' mainland regions in terms of economic development and welfare has risen significantly wider. What is particularly notable is the widening of disparities even though the state has begun to allocate a more significant proportion of transportation expenditure to the southern region. This poses substantial concerns. What are these investors ' actual financial returns in each area? Can present national development models be reasoned or are there grounds for arguing for a distinct national travel asset distribution? This study will examine the output elasticity of shipping expenditure at the national stage to address these concerns focusing on the time between 1970 and 2017.

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Research Paper on The Influence Of Transportation Infrastructure on Economic Development in China. (2023, Jan 28). Retrieved from

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