An analysis of income polarization in rural and urban China
AbstractThe purpose of this article is to contribute to the analysis of Chinese income inequality by focusing more specifically on income polarization, which captures both alienation (i.e. heterogeneity between income groups) and identification (i.e. homogeneity within groups). The empirical investigations conducted as part of this research are based on the China Health and Nutrition Survey data from 1989 to 2006 and indicate that Chinese household income is strongly polarized. After a period of stagnation between 1989 and 1997, the degree of polarization increased significantly between 1997 and 2006, indicating the constitution of identified groups in middle and upper income ranges. Although the level of income polarization is higher in rural areas, the increase in polarization is far more conspicuous in urban areas, suggesting that the risk of social tensions is more pregnant in Chinese cities. The analysis of the sources of income polarization in rural areas shows that the increase in polarization is closely linked to non agricultural opportunities. In urban areas, the emergence of identified groups in middle and upper income classes can be explained both by the sharp decline in subsidies and by the liberalization of the urban labor market and state enterprises.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée in its series Cahiers du GREThA with number 2011-26.
Date of creation: 2011
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inequality; polarization; kernel density; China;
Other versions of this item:
- Céline Bonnefond & Matthieu Clément, 2012. "An analysis of income polarisation in rural and urban China," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 15-37, June.
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
- R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2011-07-13 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2011-07-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2011-07-13 (Development)
- NEP-TRA-2011-07-13 (Transition Economics)
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