Political economy of the accelerated growth in Western China: variation in the local growth patterns

Tekdal, Veysel
This dissertation investigates the context and dynamics of the accelerated growth in western China since the mid-2000s through an examination of the mid and large-sized cities. In particular, the dissertation addresses the puzzle of how and why the cities in western China differ in their growth paths. The dissertation develops an understanding of how some cities in western China, such as Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an, and Guiyang, have remarkably progressed with opening up and sectoral diversification and upgrading, while some others, such as Lanzhou, have owed a great deal of their accelerated growth to infrastructure investments and the price boom in natural-resource commodities and their adjacent industries. On the other hand, both successful and mediocre cities share two particular problems with the accelerated growth: comparatively high share of the construction sector, and the surging debt stock on the part of local governments, which is linked to debt-financed infrastructure investments. With regard to how China’s state-permeated, decentralized political economy operates in western China, the dissertation concludes that while a proactive and aggressive local leadership is the key to upgrading the industrial structure and forging close ties with global markets, the central government wields a significant capacity in defining the conditions of local development through place-targeted policy measures such as large-scale infrastructure investments, administrative arrangements, fiscal support, personnel appointments and as well as by way of specifying cyclical macroeconomic priorities.


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Citation Formats
V. Tekdal, “Political economy of the accelerated growth in Western China: variation in the local growth patterns,” Thesis (Ph.D.) -- Graduate School of Social Sciences. Area Studies., Middle East Technical University, 2019.