Journal Article

Spatial Concentration of Innovation Activities in China and the Role of Mega-Economic Zones


  • Ma
  • R.
  • Liu
  • W.-H.
Publication Date

This paper analyses the development of spatial concentration of various innovation activities in China from 2000 to 2015 by using a generalised Theil index based on a balanced provincial dataset. It additionally tracks the concentration development back to the developing heterogeneity within and between regions in general and within and between the mega-economic zones in particular. Results show that innovation activities tend to be distributed unequally across provinces in China, with a more pronounced unequal distribution for innovation outcomes than for innovation inputs. Over the research period innovation activities considered became more and more equally distributed across provinces. The between-region inequality of innovation activities has, however, not (yet) been significantly improved despite China’s regional policies for a more equal regional development. Instead, a more equal distribution of innovation activities within mega-economic zones is observed.

Kiel Institute Expert


JEL Classification
O30, O38, O53, R11, R12

Key Words

  • China
  • innovation
  • regional policy
  • spatial concentration
  • Theil index