China’s Highly Educated Talents in 2015: Patterns, Determinants and Spatial Spillover Effects

  • Hengyu Gu
  • Xin Meng
  • Tiyan ShenEmail author
  • Luge Wen


Using data from the 2015 national one percentage population sample survey, this paper examines the distribution, driving forces, and spatial effect of highly educated talents at the prefecture level. It involves spatial autocorrelation analysis and spatial econometrics models. The results show that the spatial pattern of talents is highly concentrated, unbalanced, and clustered among cities. Economic opportunities are the main forces affecting the distribution of talents, although some amenity variables (e.g., public services and accessibility) also matter. Our findings suggest that spatial spillover effect of the distribution of talents mainly comes from the influence of cross-city or country specific talent policies and social network linkages.


Highly educated talents Spatial pattern Driving forces Spatial spillover effect China 



This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.71733001), the National Social Science Foundation of China (No.17ZDA055), and the foundation of National Academy of Innovation Strategy (No.CXY-ZKQN-2019-04).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of GovernmentPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Center for Spatial Data ScienceUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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