Spatial data analysis of regional development in Greater Beijing, China, in a GIS environment

Danlin Yu, Yehua Dennis Wei

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90 Scopus citations


This study investigates spatial dependence and mechanisms of regional development in Greater Beijing, China by employing spatial statistical techniques. We have detected positive, strengthening global spatial autocorrelation from 1978 to 2001, and found such strengthening is the result of newly formed/extended clusters in the area. The local analysis recognizes local regimes of two-tier urban-rural spatial structure at the beginning of the reform period. While the urban-rural divide was lessening due to the reform, a north-south divide has emerged because of local natural conditions and development trajectories. Regarding mechanisms of regional development, ordinary least squares analysis is constrained by the existence of significant spatial autocorrelation among spatial units. Analytical results reveal that an error spatial regression model is a more appropriate alternative due to possible mismatch between boundaries of the underlying spatial process and the spatial units where data are organised. In 1995 and 2001, the signs of all the regression coefficients remained the same for both OLS and spatial models. However, their magnitude and significance change. Specifically, foreign direct investment and fixed-asset investment became less influential in the spatial model, while local government spending emerged as more influential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-117
Number of pages21
JournalPapers in Regional Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Exploratory spatial data analysis
  • GIS
  • Greater Beijing
  • Regional development
  • Spatial regression


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