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What Lies behind Rising Earnings Inequality in Urban China? Regression-based Decompositions

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  • Quheng Deng
  • Shi Li
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Abstract

Coupled with advances in enterprise reform and changes in the wage structure, earnings inequality in urban China has been increasing, and this has contributed significantly to rising income inequality. Using urban household survey data from the 1988, 1995 and 2002 waves of the China Household Income Project, in this article, we decompose earnings inequality in urban China by using the recently developed regression-based decomposition methods. The decomposition results indicate that the effects of gender and membership of the Communist Party of China on earnings inequality have changed little. While work experience had a reduced effect on earnings inequality, the effects of education and occupation have increased. The contributions of ownership status and industry to earnings inequality have increased. Regional effects have been the largest recent contributor to earnings inequality. (JEL codes: D31, J31, O53) Copyright The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cesifo/ifp015
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CESifo in its journal CESifo Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 55 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3-4 ()
Pages: 598-623

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:55:y:2009:i:3-4:p:598-623

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  1. Zhang, Junsen & Zhao, Yaohui & Park, Albert & Song, Xiaoqing, 2005. "Economic returns to schooling in urban China, 1988 to 2001," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 730-752, December.
  2. Knight, John & Yueh, Linda, 2004. "Job mobility of residents and migrants in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 637-660, December.
  3. Jonathan Morduch & Terry Sicular, 1998. "Rethinking Inequality Decomposition, with Evidence from Rural China," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1831, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Bourguignon, Francois & Fournier, M & Gurgand, M, 2001. "Fast Development with a Stable Income Distribution: Taiwan, 1979-94," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(2), pages 139-63, June.
  5. John Knight & Lina Song, 2003. "Increasing urban wage inequality in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(4), pages 597-619, December.
  6. Wan, Guanghua, 2002. "Regression-based Inequality Decomposition: Pitfalls and a Solution Procedure," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  7. Wan, Guanghua, 2004. "Accounting for income inequality in rural China: a regression-based approach," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 348-363, June.
  8. Knight, J. & Shi, L. & Renwei, Z., 1999. "A Spatial Analysis of Wages and Incomes in Urban China: Divergent Means, Convergent Inequality," Economics Series Working Papers 99209, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Xin Meng & Junsen Zhang & Pak-Wai Liu, 2000. "Sectoral gender wage differentials and discrimination in the transitional Chinese economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 331-352.
  10. Meng, Xin & Kidd, Michael P., 1997. "Labor Market Reform and the Changing Structure of Wage Determination in China's State Sector during the 1980s," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 403-421, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Magnani, Elisabetta & Zhu, Rong, 2012. "Gender wage differentials among rural–urban migrants in China," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 779-793.
  2. repec:wii:bpaper:bowp:084 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. repec:wyi:journl:002165 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Meng, Xin & Shen, Kailing & Xue, Sen, 2013. "Economic reform, education expansion, and earnings inequality for urban males in China, 1988–2009," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 227-244.

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