China & World Economy / 71–89, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2017
Impact of Foreign Direct Investment and Export
on Urbanization: Evidence from China
Chunlai Chen, Yan Wu*
This paper investigates the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) and exports on urbanization in China. Using prefecture city-level panel data covering China’s 262 prefecture cities for the period 2004–2013 and employing a dynamic panel system generalized method of moments model with instrumental variable regression techniques, our study finds that FDI and exports have, on average, played a significantly positive role in China’s urbanization. However, the impacts of FDI and exports on urbanization vary across regions. FDI has a positive and significant impact on urbanization in the coastal region but has no impact on urbanization in the inland region. Exports have a positive and significant impact on urbanization in both the coastal and inland regions, but the effect is much larger in the coastal region than in the inland region. The results imply that further attracting FDI inflows and promoting exports will contribute to China’s urbanization, especially for the inland region.
Key words: China, dynamic panel system generalized method of moments, export, foreign direct investment, urbanization JEL codes: C33, F16, F21, J61, O18