This paper examines the effectiveness of the Basic Farmland Protection Regulation in protecting high-quality farmland from urban development in China in the first decade after it came into effect (1995‒2005). The theoretical basis for this study is a spatial urban development model with a splitting equation. The empirical evaluation is conducted with georeferenced, longitudinal data on more than 2,000 counties in the country. Results indicate that the Regulation was effective in preserving farmland with high productivity potential only during the period 1995‒2000. There is no evidence of effectiveness of the Regulation in protecting lands with good irrigation conditions or lands more suitable for growing major food grains. Farmland development induces the conversion of non-farmland to crop production. This substitution effect declined from 1986 to 2005 and is therefore less likely to be exaggerated by the enforcement of the dynamic balance strategy.
- farmland protection,
- urban development,
- urban spatial model,
- non-nested hypothesis test,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/man_li/9/