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Journal article
Airports, access and local economic performance: Evidence from China

July 2020
Paper No' :

Tags: airports; china; local development; public infrastructure

In this article, we study the effect of airports on local economic performance that arises from better access to domestic markets in the context of China’s recent airport network expansion. We measure access through the changes in network closeness centrality implied by the contraction in potential journey times between counties within China. Our key finding is that better access—primarily due to landside distance reductions to airports—increased manufacturing productivity. The analysis is carried out on a panel of counties built from micro data on industrial firms, administrative records and census data. To mitigate endogeneity issues, we focus on a subsample of ‘incidentally’ affected counties, whose location midway between existing and new airports implies that they were neither explicitly targeted for development nor directly affected by airport operations. © 2020 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.