TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 393-404.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003051

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Effects of Administrative Division Adjustments and Structural Reforms on Economic Development of Economically Strong Counties:A Case Study on Shunde

YE Guanjie and LI Lixun   

  1. (School of Geography and Planning,Sun Yat-Sen University,Guangzhou 510275,China)
  • Online:2018-05-05 Published:2018-05-05

Abstract: “Revocation of Counties (Cities) to Districts” based on regional integration and “Province Directly Administrating Counties” based on local initiatives have become important policy tools of economic adjustments during the last twenty years.Scholars have different opinions about their effects on economic development of Economically Strong Counties. Shunde is a special economically strong county, which has gone through these two periods of administrative division adjustments and structural reforms. In order to analyze effects of administrative division system adjustments on economic development of Economically Strong Counties,the study paid close attention to development of administrative division system, management autonomy, regional economy and their relationship during these two periods in Shunde. It made comparisons of different periods of Shunde and contrasted Shunde with entire area when it studied development of regional economy of Shunde. What’s more, it analyzed economic efficiency with DEA model after studying on economic growth of Shunde. It finds: 1) “Revocation of City to District”, weakening important affair (such as planning), finance and personnel rights of Shunde have disadvantages of its economic growth and efficiency; 2)“Reinforcing Rights to Strong County”, “Province Directly Administrating County”, strengthening financial autonomy, general affair rights and personnel rights of Shunde have advantages of its economic growth and efficiency; 3)Levels of regional administration increased, control of different regional departments weakened, and regional developmental needs restricted were part of reasons why the economic development of Shunde was weakened during the period of “Revocation of City to District”. More importantly, economic weakness of the central city and preservation of part of county system in order for smooth going of administrative division adjustments made difficulty of resolution of region segmentation when prefecture-level and county governments differed in views, which had disadvantages of regional integration and economic development of Shunde and Foshan; 4)Levels of regional administration decreased,power and desire of “Super-Ministry System Reform” and “Streamlining Administration and Delegating Power” strengthened, and achievement of regional developmental needs have contributed to strengthening economic development of Shunde after “Reinforcing Rights to Strong County” and “Province Directly Administrating County”.

Key words: administrative division adjustment, management autonomy, economic development, revocation of counties (cities) to districts, province directly administrating counties, Shunde