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Revolution and Family in Rural China: Influence of Family Background on Current Family Wealth

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Author Info

  • Sato, Hiroshi

    ()
    (Hitotsubashi University)

  • Li, Shi

    ()
    (Beijing Normal University)

Abstract

This paper examines the influence of family human capital on offspring’s economic status in post reform rural China by concentrating on the father-son relationship. We focus on two indicators of family background: family class origin (jiating chengfen) and occupational experience. The results of a family wealth function for 2002 suggest that, after controlling for other individual and family characteristics, both measures of family background have a significant influence on family wealth. First, parental experience of a nonagricultural family business before collectivization has a positive and statistically significant effect on current family wealth. Second, the offspring of landlord/rich peasant and middle peasant families are more likely to have higher family wealth than poor and lower-middle peasant families. We also find cohort and regional differences in the influence of family background. Our findings suggest that the strength and robustness of the Chinese rural family as a cultural institution preserves family human capital across radical institutional changes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3223.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3223

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Related research

Keywords: family human capital; family background; intergenerational correlation; distribution of wealth;

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  1. Nathan D. Grawe & Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "Economic Interpretations of Intergenerational Correlations," NBER Working Papers 8948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fairlie, Robert W. & Robb, Alicia, 2004. "Families, Human Capital, and Small Business: Evidence from the Characteristics of Business Owners Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1296, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Harding, David J. & Jencks, Christopher & Lopoo, Leonard M. & Mayer, Susan E., 2003. "The Changing Effect of Family Background on the Incomes of American Adults," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp03-045, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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  5. Fang,H. & Norman,P., 2001. "Government-mandated discriminatory policies," Working papers, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems 12, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  6. Niny Khor & John Pencavel, 2006. "Income Mobility of Individuals In China and the United States," Discussion Papers, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research 05-009, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
  8. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
  9. Gustafsson,Björn A. & Shi,Li & Sicular,Terry (ed.), 2008. "Inequality and Public Policy in China," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521870450.
  10. Robert Erikson & John H. Goldthorpe, 2002. "Intergenerational Inequality: A Sociological Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 31-44, Summer.
  11. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Hanming Fang & Peter Norman, 2006. "Government-Mandated Discriminatory Policies: Theory And Evidence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 361-389, 05.
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Cited by:
  1. Zhao Chen & Ming Lu & Hiroshi Sato, 2009. "Social Networks and Labor Market Entry Barriers: Understanding Inter-industrial Wage Differentials in Urban China," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University gd09-084, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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