Labor productivity differences in China 1987-1997: An interregional decomposition analysis

Ling Yang, Michael L. Lahr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The literature on regional disparities in China is both broad and deep. Nonetheless, much of its focus has been on the effects of trade liberalization and national policies toward investment in interior provinces. Few pieces have examined whether the disparities might simply be due to differences in industry mix, final demand, or even interregional trade. Using two newly published multiregional input-output tables and disaggregated employment data, we decompose change in labor productivity growth for seven regions of China between 1987 and 1997 into five partial effects-changes in value added coefficients, direct labor requirements, aggregate production mix, interregional trade, and final demand. Subsequently we summarize the contributions to labor productivity of the different factors at the regional level. In this way, we present a new perspective on recent causes of China's interregional disparity in GDP per capita.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-341
Number of pages23
JournalReview of Regional Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


  • China
  • Decomposition
  • Input-output analysis
  • Productivity
  • Regional disparity


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