Institutional change and divergent economic resilience: Path development of two resource-depleted cities in China

Xiaohui Hu, Chun Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Existing literature on the economic resilience of cities has primarily focused on the study of capabilities and outcomes, while little has been conducted on the evolutionary processes. Drawing upon institutional change and path development concepts, this article develops an analytical framework that explains how different modes of institutional change shape path development processes in relation to economic resilience in cities. This article provides a comparative study on the divergent path development involving distinctive institutional change mechanisms in two Chinese mining cities both facing resource depletion since 2000, namely Zaozhuang in Shandong province and Fuxin in Liaoning province. It shows that Zaozhuang enables endogenously-based layering and conversion that leads to path renewal and creation with a more dynamic resilience engendering structural change, whereas Fuxin is trapped in exogenously-induced institutional thickening that results in path persistence and extension with a less dynamic resilience hindering economic renewal. The findings of this study advance the regional resilience literature by incorporating the role of agency, institutional change and path development in the context of China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3466-3485
Number of pages20
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • economic resilience
  • industrial path development
  • institutional change
  • resource-depleted cities


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