New Cities as Economic Engine - MIT Center for Real Estate
Asia Real Estate Initiative

New Cities as Economic Engine

Principal Investigators: Siqi Zheng (lead)
Researchers: Weizeng Sun, Jianfeng Wu, Matthew Kahn
Year: 2017 - 2020
Sponsor: Center for Real Estate
Topics: International Real Estate, Real Estate Development and City-making, Real Estate Finance and Investment, Urban and Real Estate Economics

Evaluation Place-based Industrial Policies in China

Do massive investments spent on industrial parks facilitate local economic development in China?

Since 1982, the Chinese Central Government has built thousands of industrial parks. Although these parks only occupy 0.1% of China’s total land area, they contain 40% of the nation’s manufacturing jobs, contribute 10% of China’s GDP, and 33% of foreign direct investment.

China’s government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to invest in new industrial parks with the intent of boosting economic growth and generating spillovers for the local economy. Are these investments effectively spent?

  • Do political connections help or hinder urban economic growth? Evidence from 1,400 industrial parks in China
  • The Birth of Edge Cities in China: The effects of new industrial parks on local production activity and consumer behavior in close proximity to the new parks
  • The Revealed Preference of the Chinese Communist Party Leadership: Why do some Chinese leaders choose the “wrong” city to site expensive place-based investments (industrial parks)?

New Cities as Economic Engine