Highways and industrial development in the peripheral regions of China

Hangtian Xu, Kentaro Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This study estimates how highways affected industrial development in China's peripheral regions between 1998 and 2007, a period during which China experienced rapid growth in highway mileage. Highways between major cities pass through some counties but not others. Based on this difference in counties’ access to highways, we conduct a difference-in-difference propensity score matching estimation, with the treatment variables being counties’ highway connection status and their industrial performance before and after being connected to a highway. We find that highways promote industrial development in counties with higher output and greater investment levels. Moreover, highways have differential impacts across industries and regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-356
Number of pages32
JournalPapers in Regional Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Highways
  • difference-in-difference propensity score matching (DID-PSM)
  • industrial development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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