This article presents a series of statistical tests of the spatial framework offered by G. W. Skinner for use in analyzing Chinese history. Skinner argues that China is best viewed as a collection of nine distinct economic regions, each composed of a core and periphery. The authors use discriminant analysis, a multivariant statistical technique, and a twentieth-century Chinese data set to test the relevance of this view empirically. Their tests show that the Skinner framework is not supported by the data, and therefore they conclude that the model's contribution to the historical analysis of China is questionable.

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