Network structure of urban agglomeration in the Yangtze River Economic Belt from the perspective of bidirectional economic link: based on time distance and social network analysis method

WANG Shengyun1,2 SONG Yaning2 WEN Huwei1,2 LI Jing1,2

(1.Research Center of Central China Economic and Social Development, Nanchang University, Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province, China 330031)
(2.School of Economics & Management, Nanchang University, Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province, China 330047)

【Abstract】Using the modified gravity model and social network analysis method, this study investigates bidirectional economic link pattern and network of urban agglomeration in Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB). The results indicate the following points. (1) There are significant directional differences in economic link intensity between cities in YREB. Economic link intensity of Shanghai, Suzhou, Chongqing and Wuhan towards other cities is distinct different from other cities' economic link intensity towards them. (2) The total amount of economic link intensity is relatively large within urban agglomerations and relatively small among urban agglomerations. The economic link pattern among the five urban agglomerations in YREB is unevenly distributed. The total amount of economic link intensity in Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration accounts for 77% of the total amount of economic link intensity in YREB. (3) The density of urban network in YREB is in the medium level and presents a trend that it is much stronger in the east of the east of YREB than the west. Urban network in YREB is dominated by direct contact, but still rely on some key cities as the media. The intermediary function of Chongqing, Wuhan and Chengdu is particularly prominent. (4) Cluster analysis shows that 84 cities in the YREB are divided into eight third-level cohesive subgroups and four second-level cohesive subgroups, which consist of three subsets that are Yunnan-Guizhou subset, Chengdu Chongqing subset and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

【Keywords】 Yangtze River Economic Belt; urban agglomeration; urban network; time distance; social network analysis method; the Yangtze River Delta; bidirectional economic link;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (41861025) “13th Five-year” Planning Project for Social Sciences of Jiangxi Province (2018) (18JL01) Research on Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education (18YJA790082) Management Science of Jiangxi Natural Science Foundation (20181BAA208004)

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This Article



Vol 39, No. 02, Pages 73-81

February 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Research method
  • 2 Result analysis
  • 3 Conclusions and discussions
  • References