Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Inequality of opportunity and income inequality in nine Chinese provinces, 1989-2006

Contents:

Author Info

  • Zhang, Yingqiang
  • Eriksson, Tor

Abstract

While there is a large and growing body of research describing and analyzing changes in the Chinese income distribution, researchers have paid considerable less attention to inequality of opportunity. The aim of this paper is to contribute to filling this gap in the literature. The two main questions addressed empirically for the first time in a Chinese context are: to what extent are individuals' incomes and individual income differences due to factors beyond the individual's control (in Roemer's terminology "circumstances") and to what extent are they due to outcomes of the individual's own choices ("effort"). What is the relationship between income inequality and inequality of opportunity? For this purpose we use data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey collected from nine provinces during the period 1989 to 2006. The CHNS has detailed information about incomes and other factors enabling us to construct a host of circumstance and effort variables for the offspring. We find that China has a substantial degree of inequality of opportunity. Parental income and parents' type of employer explain about two thirds of the total inequality of opportunity. Notably, parental education plays only a minor role implying that parental connections remain important. The results show that the increase in income inequality during the period under study largely mirrors the increase in inequality of opportunity. Thus, increased income inequality does not reflect changes in effort variables, or expressed differently, increased income inequality has not been accompanied by a decrease in inequality of opportunity.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W46-50G067F-1/2/ef5ee6c92db9e875c167c8dce2eda522
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 21 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 607-616

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:21:y:2010:i:4:p:607-616

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

Related research

Keywords: Inequality of opportunity Income inequality China;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Jo Blanden & Alissa Goodman & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Changes in Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," CEE Discussion Papers 0026, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  2. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menendez, 2003. "Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunities in Brazil," Textos para discussão 478, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  3. Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 1999. "Which Regional Inequality? The Evolution of Rural-Urban and Inland-Coastal Inequality in China from 1983 to 1995," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 686-701, December.
  4. Knight, J. & Lina, S., 1990. "The Determinants Of Urban Income Inequality In China," Economics Series Working Papers 9991, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2004. "Fairness and Redistribution," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000283, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Ferreira , Francisco H. G. & Gignoux, Jeremie, 2008. "The measurement of inequality of opportunity : theory and an application to Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4659, The World Bank.
  7. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," NBER Working Papers 11208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Heerink, Nico & Kuiper, Marijke H. & Xiaoping, Shi, 2006. "China's New Rural Income Support Policy: Impact on Grain Production and Rural Income Inequality," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25625, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  9. Roemer,John E., 2006. "Democracy, Education, and Equality," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521846653, April.
  10. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  11. Denis Cogneau & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps, 2008. "Inequality of Opportunity for Income in Five Countries of Africa," Working Papers DT/2008/04, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  12. Shujie Yao, 1999. "On the decomposition of Gini coefficients by population class and income source: a spreadsheet approach and application," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(10), pages 1249-1264.
  13. Luo, Xubei & Zhu, Nong, 2008. "Rising income inequality in China : a race to the top," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4700, The World Bank.
  14. Shujie Yao & Jirui Liu, 1996. "Decomposition of Gini coefficients by class: a new approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 115-119.
  15. Lu, Ding, 2002. "Rural-urban income disparity: impact of growth, allocative efficiency, and local growth welfare," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 419-429, December.
  16. Bliss, C., 1993. "External trade and income distribution : Francois Bourguignon and Christian Morrison, (OECD, Paris, 1989) pp. 304, FF190," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 207-209, June.
  17. Javier Núñez & Andrea Tartakowsky, 2007. "Inequality of outcomes vs. inequality of opportunities in a developing country. An exploratory analysis for Chile," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 34(2 Year 20), pages 185-202, December.
  18. Fan, Shenggen & Zhang, Linxiu & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2002. "Growth, inequality, and poverty in rural China: the role of public investments," Research reports 125, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  19. Bourguignon, Francois & Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Walton, Michael, 2006. "Equity, Efficient and Inequality Traps: A Research Agenda," Working Paper Series rwp06-025, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  20. Chen, Yuanyuan & Feng, Shuaizhang, 2009. "Parental Education and Wages: Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 4218, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
  22. Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito, 2005. "Regional Disparities and Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 1874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
  24. Gustafsson, Bjorn & Shi, Li, 2002. "Income inequality within and across counties in rural China 1988 and 1995," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 179-204, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Paolo Brunori & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Vito Peragine, 2013. "Inequality of Opportunity, Income Inequality and Economic Mobility: Some International Comparisons," Working Papers 284, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. Chen, Anping & Groenewold, Nicolaas, 2013. "Does investment allocation affect the inter-regional output gap in China? A time-series investigation," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 197-206.
  3. Sun, Jiawei & Ma, Chao & Song, Ze & Gu, Hai, 2013. "Inequality of Opportunity in Health Care in China: Suggestion on the Construction of the Urban-Rural Integrated Medical Insurance System," MPRA Paper 49389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Yi Chen & Frank A Cowell, 2013. "Mobility in China," STICERD - Public Economics Programme Discussion Papers 18, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:21:y:2010:i:4:p:607-616. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.