Regional inequality in China has attracted considerable scholarly attention, but the use of geographic information system (GIS) techniques for rigorous analysis remains limited. This paper utilizes recent data and GIS and spatial statistical techniques to analyze changin patterns of regional inequality in China from 1978 to 2000. It also identifies the changing clusters of regional development in China. We illustrate that regional inequality in China is sensitive to development trajectories of the provinces, and that conventional measures of regional inequality mask geographical clJstering. Patterns of change are explained by both contextual and regression analyses.
Two European political economists examine the restructuring of external relations of the Central Asian republics (CARs) after the disintegration of the Soviet Union by focusing on the structures of exports based on evidence provided by past balances of payments and trade data disaggregated at a relatively high level. The authors' investigation identifies shifts in the commodity composition of exports since the CARs' independence, both in terms of the share of major commodity groupings (e.g., toward raw materials) and in the quality/valueadded of goods within specific commodity groups, as well as the spatial pattern of export destinations. The paper also addresses differences in the CARs' trade performance during the post-Soviet period, which remain small despite the substantial differences in resource endowments and policy orientations. Journal of Economic Literature, Classification Numbers: F14, F40, O11, P50. 1 figure, 11 tables, 40 references.
A noted European economist argues that the Russian economy and its post-2000 growth have been heavily dependent on natural resources, especially hydrocarbons, and are bound to remain so for some time to come. Given that many economists have come to view rich natural resource endowments as a curse that undermines development, the question arises as to whether Russian economic development is doomed. The author argues that while the challenges posed by resource dependence are serious, they can be overcome, or at least substantially mitigated, if accompanied by the right economic policies as the examples of Australia, Canada, and the Scandinavian countries demonstrate. He analyzes what these economic policies are for Russia, and how to set up Russian economic and political conditions to facilitate their implementation.
In documenting the merging of the State Committee for the Protection of the Natural Environment (Goskomekologiya) into the Ministry for Natural Resources (Minresursov), Peterson and Bielke (2001) made several predictions as to the merger's impact on environmental protection within the Russian Federation. Utilizing research undertaken approximately two years after the merger, this paper examines the reaction and response to these federal changes from a variety of actors at the regional level, using Samara Oblast as a case study. In so doing, it highlights the potential disparity and distance between decisions made at the federal level and their implementation locally.
Two geographers specializing in China analyze that country’s health care inequality from 1990 to 2008, for the purpose of: (1) examining spatial-temporal variations of health care inequality at multiple scales (the regional, provincial, and county levels); (2) exploring whether economic growth and transition to a market economy have exacerbated the unevenness of health care; and (3) analyzing the impact of health care inequality on health outcomes, especially mortality. The authors apply GIS-based spatial statistical methods to detect spatial-temporal patterns of health care, and use multilevel regression to examine the linkages between health care, mortality, and regional economic inequality, and ultimately to assess the sensitivity of health care inequality to geographic scale and examine whether reforms implemented to date have resulted in more equitable access to health care. The paper also demonstrates how the concurrent transitions of decentralization, marketization, globalization, and urbanization in China have interactively contributed to health care inequality and mortality.
A team of China- and U.S.-based geographers develops the theoretical concept of “learning field” to advance the study of technological innovation through networking under conditions of ongoing globalization. The concept is applied in a survey of ca. 100 firms in the Zhengzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone, located in a relatively underdeveloped region of China. The findings emphasize the different patterns and challenges confronting companies of differing size, property rights, and R&D capacities, as well as the variable extent to which technological learning is based on local versus global linkages and networking. Key elements involved in successful technological upgrading (in addition to networking) are identified, including market structure, competitive strategies, and capital. Also examined are the roles played by geographic, relational, and institutional factors in providing opportunities for learning and cooperation among firms in an industrial district.
A team of authors from the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) research network explores the main empirical features of the global economic integration of Eurasia through an analysis of the (shifting) position of that macroregion’s key cities. More specifically, they examine the gateway roles played by key cities in four major subregions – China, the former Eastern Bloc (FEB, i.e., Central and Eastern Europe), former Soviet Union (FSU), and India – in the channeling of transnational flows of capital, goods, knowledge, and people in 2000-2008, focusing on the globalization of firms in the financial and business service sectors. Although cities in the four subregions share a common recent history of transition from closed and state-centered to open and market-based economies, the study reveals the persistence of distinctive geographical idiosyncrasies in their connections across the globe. Journal of Economic Literature, Classification Numbers: F020, F200, O180, P300. 4 figures, 3 tables, 1 appendix, 39 references. Key words: advanced producer services, world city network, former Soviet Union, former Eastern Bloc, China, India, cities, economic integration, GaWC.
This paper explores the role of energy resources in Russia. We offer a more inclusive definition of oil and gas rents than is traditionally given and analyze how the mechanisms for distributing those rents have changed over time. We show how fluctuations in the level of rents have played a key role in Russian economic performance. Oil rents, in particular, are shown to have varied widely over the past 35 years. We examine the role of the property rights regime and its effect on depletion rates. The paper examines how the distribution of rents affects the sustainability of production. We conclude with some reflections on the proper organization of the energy sector.
The paper surveys Russia's engagement, both in terms of policy formulation and implementation, with the main initiatives outlined at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Although coverage extends through the entire period from 1992 to present, a particular focus is on recent developments under the Putin administration, a period characterized by an ostensibly utilitarian approach to environmental management. Russia's response to the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) is assessed in the broader context of the country's problems in effecting major environmental policy changes.
Two economic geographers examine trends in economic performance and quality of life of the population in Russia's regions from 1990 to the first years of the 21st century. The paper compares the results of tests for regional inequality according to a wide variety of standardized measures: gross regional product, personal income, unemployment, consumption variables, social and health indicators (educational level, life expectancy, infant mortality), and infrastructure endowment. The authors construct two composite indices of regional inequality that provide a framework for explaining the different development trajectories of Russia's regions following the disintegration of the USSR.
This commentary positions the Taiwanese response to COVID-19 in the larger geopolitical arena. It explores the politicized nature of the global pandemic through Taiwan’s relations with the US, China, the World Health Organization, and Southeast Asia, and reflects on the politico-economic environment Taiwan has to navigate post COVID-19. Discussion shows that the emergence of Taiwan as an exceptional entity in the containment of the virus is very much predicated on the failings of China and the US in their roles as world leaders. Moreover, as much as China needs Taiwan for its nationalistic narratives, the US is dependent on a defiant Taiwan to stall China’s progress in threatening its global hegemon status. However, despite scoring a geopolitical home run in its engagement with COVID-19, Taiwan is by and large a pawn in Sino-US relations. The commentary postulates that the political future of Taiwan is likely to be determined by geopolitical externalities beyond its control. Taiwan should not be too carried away by its success in balancing the US-China tightrope hitherto. So long as Taiwan remains a pawn in the contestation of global power between China and the US, its leaders have to tread carefully as to its future options.