Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (8): 1341-1362.doi: 10.1007/s11442-020-1785-9

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Theory and measurement model of administrative region potential from a perspective of administrative division adjustment: Taking Chongqing city as a case study

WANG Kaiyong1,2(), WANG Fuyuan1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2019-12-29 Accepted:2020-02-20 Online:2020-08-25 Published:2020-10-25
  • About author:Wang Kaiyong, PhD, specialized in administrative division and spatial governance. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871151)


There is a lack of basic theory and method to examine the effect of administrative division (AD) adjustment on the regional development. Based on the theory and practice of Chinese AD adjustments, the paper defined the concept of administrative region potential (ARP) and developed the quantitative model to measure the ARP. Then, the model was validated taking Chongqing as an empirical case. The results show that: (1) the ARP consists of energy of position (i.e., geographic space factors) and gravitational potential energy (i.e., administrative levels and management system factors). Administrative division adjustment can change the ARP, thereby changing its path and driving force of regional development. (2) The ARP model of Chongqing city can reflect the effects of administrative division adjustment events on the Chongqing city objectively. Specifically, ARP includes variables of land jurisdiction, human capital level, fixed assets investment capacity, administrative hierarchy of fiscal decentralization and administrative decentralization. (3) The ARP promotion has significant positive influence on the performance of local economic development in Chongqing city. (4) Reasonable AD adjustments will help the region integrate production elements and resources, enhance the political power of the city, improve its ARP, and then promote local economic development. The ARP model is proved to be an efficient way to understand and explain the regional effect of AD adjustment. It provides a new analytical perspective for the planning of AD adjustment in various regions, and can also be used as a practical method for assessing the effects of AD adjustment.

Key words: administrative division, administrative region potential, model, regression analysis, Chongqing city