Research Division


Urban Policies for Revitalization of Kitakyushu

This group conducts research on the revitalization of Kitakyushu City, focusing on the construction of transportation infrastructure, environmental businesses, and sustainable urban development. To this end, the group refers to successful examples of urban and regional revitalization both domestically and internationally, and puts forward policy proposals based on research findings.

Group Leader DAI Erbiao
Member Alvaro DOMINGUEZ

Research Projects for FY2024

Changes in the spatial structure of Taiwan’s Outward FDI and its economic impacts on the surrounding countries (regions)

Staff:DAI Erbiao

Professor, Director of Research Division

In recent years, the change in the spatial structure of Taiwan’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from Taiwan, which boasts the world’s highest standards in industries such as semiconductors, has garnered significant attention. Taiwan’s OFDI was predominantly directed towards the mainland China from 1993 to 2022. However, the share of Taiwan’s OFDI in China, which exceeded 80% at its peak in 2010, has continued to decline, dropping to 11.4% in 2023. In contrast, the share of Taiwan’s OFDI in the United States, ASEAN, Europe, and Japan has significantly expanded. This study focuses on the changes in the spatial structure of Taiwan’s OFDI, exploring the causes of these changes from several perspectives: (1) the reorganization of the global supply chain due to fluctuations in the geopolitical international situation, (2) the “New Southbound Policy” of Taiwan, and (3) the changing investment environments in China and other major recipient countries. Additionally, the study analyzes the economic impact of these changes on surrounding countries and regions, especially the Kyushu region of Japan.

Spatial dynamics of regional economic development and air pollution in China

Staff:Alvaro DOMINGUEZ

Assistant Professor

In recent decades, China’s swift economic development has led to a significant decline in air quality, raising health concerns for its population. I focus on the trade-off between economic advancement and environmental degradation, particularly the impact on air quality. My research involves studying the relationship between income and air pollution in 285 Chinese cities from 2000 to 2020, using a novel database. I aim to answer questions about whether higher-income cities in China experience better air quality and vice versa. I use spatial data analysis methods, considering both static and dynamic spatial dependence, and investigate the evolution of these variables. I also analyze whether there is a convergence in pollution and income patterns throughout cities/regions. Finally, I provide policy recommendations related to different SDGs to enhance policies to improve the population’s quality of life.

Does Regional Digital Transformation Improve Regional and Individual Well-Being?: Evidence from Pilot Policies in Japan and China


Assistant Professor

With the widespread use of the Internet, the use of “beyond GDP” (Stiglitz et al., 2009) measures has become important, and wellbeing study has taken in place scientific research (Álvarez & Vicente, 2023). Well-being is an important value in people’s lives and can be considered an indicator of social progress (Voukelatou et al., 2021). With the spread of COVID-19 and significant changes in social conditions, DX is attracting a great deal of attention. However, few studies have clarified whether DX improves well-being with the exception of a few studies using ICT and the Digital Economy Index. Thus, based on the concept of DX by Stolerman and Fros (2004), this study uses pilot policies as a quasi-natural experiment and clarifies whether regional DX improves regional and individual wellbeing in Japan and China, and if so, what the mechanism is for this improvement.