Spatial and temporal changes in vegetable production in China

Long Ji shows how he measured the geographic concentration and regional localization of vegetable production in China with newly developed indicators.

J. Li

J. Li


New economic geography theory has raised concerns that economic integration at the regional and international level may increase the regional concentration of industries and the industrial specialization of regions. China's economic reforms and rapid growth over the past three decades, have led many economists to begin studying the problem of industrial geographic distribution and regional specialization of agricultural production in China. This paper will measure the geographic concentration and regional localization of vegetable production in China with newly developed indicators. 


Coefficients (FLQ* and li ) incorporating the effect of regional industrial scale, developed by [1], are used to measure the localization of the vegetable sector in each region and the overall geographic concentration of the vegetable production. As supplementary indicators, Global Moran's I and Local Moran's I are used to examine the spatial autocorrelation of vegetable production in China. Moreover, cross-entropy based downscaling approach is utilized to attempt to generate plausible allocations of vegetable production at the scale of individual pixels. 


At provincial level, according to the values of FLQ* and li , the overall level of geographic concentration of vegetable production in China has slightly increased during the past three decades, with a southward shift. This pattern is confirmed with the Global Moran's I. The Global Moran's I reached 0.29 with a z-score of 3.02 by 2010 from 0.02 with a z-score of 0.5 in 1981, indicating that vegetable production was distributed randomly across regions in 1981, but revealed positive spatial autocorrelation by 2010. Moreover, the LISA cluster map suggests that vegetable production was concentrated in the HHH & BS Region, with Shandong and Henan provinces as the cluster center. 

For the HHH & BS Region (at prefectural level), the FLQ* values suggest that the localization level of vegetable production in the top twenty prefectures has decreased within the 1994-2010 period, especially  the top ten prefectures. As the same situation with that at provincial level, the overall level of geographical concentration of vegetable production in the HHH & BS Region is not very high. Nevertheless, the Global Moran's I for vegetable production in 1994 and 2010 suggests that there exists a positive spatial autocorrelation in vegetable production both in 1994 and 2010. The LISA maps of 1994 and 2010 indicate that vegetable production was mainly concentrated in the center, south, and southwest of Shandong province and the east and south of Henan province.


Lu, Z. and Deng, X. 2011. Regional Specialization: A Measure Method and Trends in China. MPRA paper No. 33867.


Long Ji, of Huazhong Agricultural University, China, is a Chinese citizen. He was funded by IIASA's Chinese National Member Organization and worked in the Ecosystems Service and Management (EMS) Program of IIASA during the YSSP.

Please note these Proceedings have received limited or no review from supervisors and IIASA program directors, and the views and results expressed therein do not necessarily represent IIASA, its National Member Organizations, or other organizations supporting the work.

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Last edited: 19 August 2015


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