Spillovers across industries and regions in China’s regional economic diversification

Jian Gao*, Bogang Jun, Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, Tao Zhou, César A. Hidalgo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Industrial diversification depends on spillovers from related industries and nearby regions, yet their interaction remains largely unclear. We study economic diversification in China during the period 1990–2015 and present supportive evidence on both spillover channels. We add to the literature by showing that these two channels behave as substitutes when explaining new entries and exits, and by using acceleration campaigns of high-speed rail to address some endogeneity concerns with regional spillovers. Our findings confirm the role of relatedness and geographical distance in the diffusion of economic capabilities and support the idea that improvements in transportation can facilitate the diffusion of productive capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1326
Number of pages16
JournalRegional Studies
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2021


  • economic complexity
  • economic development
  • high-speed rail
  • industrial structure
  • spillovers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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