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.
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