Dynamics of multi-scale intra-provincial regional inequality in Zhejiang, China

Wenze Yue, Yuntang Zhang, Xinyue Ye, Yeqing Cheng, Mark R. Leipnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This paper investigates regional inequality in a multi-scale framework, using Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis, based on the per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of counties and municipalities within the Zhejiang province in China between the years of 1990 and 2010. A Spatial Markov Chain is used to identify the dynamics of regional wealth disparity in Zhejiang. The results show that the regional inequality of Zhejiang is sensitive to the geographic scale of the analysis. In addition, the inter-county inequality shows an inverted-U shape pattern. At the same time, the inter-municipality inequality displays a more consistently upward trend, and the evolution of the interregional inequality is relatively stable over time. The regional inequality is more significant at finer (larger) spatial scales. The decomposition of the Theil Index shows that the contribution of the inequalities between Northeast Zhejiang and Southwest Zhejiang increased. The increasingly larger values of the Global Moran's I show that there is an intensifying spatial aggregation of economic development. The comparison of the traditional Markov transitionmatrix and the Spatial Markov transition matrix illustrates how the relative wealth or poverty of neighboring counties make a significance difference in wealth in a given county as measured using domestic GDP per capita in Zhejiang province. This space-time analysis is valuable for policy making towards sustainable economic development in China given the soaring spatial inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5763-5784
Number of pages22
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


  • ESDA (Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis)
  • Regional inequality
  • Spatial Markov chains
  • Theil index


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