Transportation Infrastructure and Economic Growth in China: A Meta-analysis

  • Zhenhua ChenEmail author
  • Kingsley E. Haynes
Part of the New Frontiers in Regional Science: Asian Perspectives book series (NFRSASIPER, volume 24)


Transportation infrastructure has experienced a rapid development in China over the past decade. Although the economic contribution of transportation infrastructure has been widely examined in the literature using various data and approaches, the understanding remains unsatisfactory as the economic output elasticities for transportation are found to vary substantially across different studies. Our study improves the understanding of the linkages between transportation infrastructure and economic growth with a focus on China using a meta-analysis. Through a statistical analysis of 133 estimates from 18 empirical studies, our results find that the average output elasticity of the Chinese transportation system is 0.13. Variations in earlier estimates were found to be due to the different dependent variables, transportation variables, control variables, data, and models being used. Although the results are generally consistent with previous studies based on different survey samples, some unique characteristics of the Chinese economy and its transportation system are found to play a significant role. These should be considered carefully and suggest interpretive cautious in future research endeavors.


Transportation infrastructure Economic growth China Meta-analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sol Price School of Public PolicyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.School of Policy, Government, and International AffairsGeorge Mason UniversityArlingtonUSA

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