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Partially awakened giants : uneven growth in China and India

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  • Chaudhuri, Shubham
  • Ravallion, Martin

Abstract

The paper examines the ways in which recent economic growth has been uneven in China and India and what this has meant for inequality and poverty. Drawing on analyses based on existing household survey data and aggregate data from official sources, the authors show that growth has indeed been uneven-geographically, sectorally, and at the household level-and that this has meant uneven progress against poverty, less poverty reduction than might have been achieved had growth been more balanced, and an increase in income inequality. The paper then examines why growth was uneven and why this should be of concern. The discussion is structured around the idea that there are both"good"and"bad"inequalities-drivers and dimensions of inequality and uneven growth that are good or bad in terms of what they imply for both equity and long-term growth and development. The authors argue that the development paths of both China and India have been influenced by, and have generated, both types of inequalities and that while good inequalities-most notably those that reflect the role of economic incentives-have been critical to the growth experience thus far, there is a risk that bad inequalities-those that prevent individuals from connecting to markets and limit investment and accumulation of human capital and physical capital-may undermine the sustainability of growth in the coming years. The authors argue that policies are needed that preserve the good inequalities-continued incentives for innovation and investment-but reduce the scope for bad ones, notably through investments in human capital and rural infrastructure that help the poor connect to markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4069.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4069

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Related research

Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Achieving Shared Growth; Inequality; Population Policies;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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  1. Korinek, Anton & Mistiaen, Johan A. & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Survey nonresponse and the distribution of income," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3543, The World Bank.
  2. Chen, Jian & Fleisher, Belton M., 1996. "Regional Income Inequality and Economic Growth in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 141-164, April.
  3. Zhang, Xiaobo & Kanbur, Ravi, 2005. "Spatial inequality in education and health care in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 189-204.
  4. Kanbur Ravi, 2001. "Economic Policy, Distribution and Poverty: The Nature of Disagreements," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-26, April.
  5. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2003. "Measuring pro-poor growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 93-99, January.
  6. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The World Distribution of Income (estimated from Individual Country Distributions)," NBER Working Papers 8933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fleisher, Belton M. & Wang, Xiaojun, 2004. "Skill differentials, return to schooling, and market segmentation in a transition economy: the case of Mainland China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 315-328, February.
  8. 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.
  9. Ravallion, Martin & van de Walle, Dominique, 2006. "Does rising landlessness signal success or failure for Vietnam's agrarian transition?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3871, The World Bank.
  10. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10091, Paris Dauphine University.
  11. Puja Vasudeva Dutta, 2005. "Accounting for Wage Inequality in India," PRUS Working Papers 29, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
  12. Angus Deaton & Jean Dreze, 2002. "Poverty and Inequality in India: A Re-Examination," Working Papers 184, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  13. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Farm productivity and rural poverty in India," FCND discussion papers 42, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  14. Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 1998. "When economic reform is faster than statistical reform - measuring and explaining inequality in rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1902, The World Bank.
  15. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Transient Poverty in Postreform Rural China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 338-357, June.
  16. Au, Chun-Chung & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2006. "How migration restrictions limit agglomeration and productivity in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 350-388, August.
  17. Lall, Somik V. & Chakravorty, Sanjoy, 2004. "Industrial Location and Spatial Inequality: Theory and Evidence from India," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  18. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 1996. "How Important to India's Poor Is the Sectoral Composition of Economic Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 1-25, January.
  19. Bruno, Michael & Ravallion, Martin & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "Equity and growth in developing countries : old and new perspectives on the policy issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1563, The World Bank.
  20. Jian, Tianlun & Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 1996. "Trends in regional inequality in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-21.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Saccone Donatella, 2011. "Potenze economiche emergenti: Cina e India a confronto.Istruzione e diseguaglianze," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201113, University of Turin.
  2. Martin Ravallion, 2011. "A Comparative Perspective on Poverty Reduction in Brazil, China, and India," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 26(1), pages 71-104, February.
  3. Arslan Razmi, 2008. "Is the Chinese Investment- and Export-Led Growth Model Sustainable? Some Rising Concerns," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2008-09, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  4. Gentilini, Ugo & Webb, Patrick, 2008. "How are we doing on poverty and hunger reduction? A new measure of country performance," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 521-532, December.
  5. Robert W. Fogel, 2009. "The Impact of the Asian Miracle on the Theory of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 14967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gentilini, Ugo & Omamo, Steven Were, 2011. "Social protection 2.0: Exploring issues, evidence and debates in a globalizing world," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 329-340, June.
  7. Montalvo, Jose G. & Ravallion, Martin, 2009. "The pattern of growth and poverty reduction in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5069, The World Bank.
  8. Luo, Xubei & Zhu, Nong, 2008. "Rising income inequality in China : a race to the top," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4700, The World Bank.
  9. Petia Topalova, 2008. "India: Is the Rising Tide Lifting All Boats?," IMF Working Papers 08/54, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Grabowski, Richard, 2009. "An alternative Indian model?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 50-61, January.
  11. Self, Sharmistha & Grabowski, Richard, 2009. "Modernization, inter-caste marriage, and dowry: An analytical perspective," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 69-76, January.

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