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Reducing China's regional disparities: Is there a growth cost?

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  • Chen, Anping

Abstract

While China's growth has been spectacular over the past 30Â years, it has masked growing underlying disparities in the regional distribution of income with coastal provinces growing at a much faster rate than the rest of the country, exacerbating already marked differences in per capita income. Policy focused on addressing these growing disparities has had to face the possibility that spreading growth more evenly around the country will require a sacrifice of the national growth rate. Yet there is almost no empirical evidence that this is so and, if it is, how big the required sacrifice is. This paper contributes to filling this gap by analyzing the relationship between aggregate growth and the inequality of regional output distribution. We use a VAR model to simulate the effects over time on growth of a reduction in inequality and also the effects on inequality of an increase in growth. We find, first, that in the long run a more equal distribution can be obtained without a growth sacrifice. Second, in the short run a reduction in inequality reduces growth. Third, in the short and long runs an increase in growth actually reduces inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Anping, 2010. "Reducing China's regional disparities: Is there a growth cost?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 2-13, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:21:y:2010:i:1:p:2-13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Arif Wismadi & Mark Zuidgeest & Mark Brussel & Martin Maarseveen, 2014. "Spatial Preference Modelling for equitable infrastructure provision: an application of Sen’s Capability Approach," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 19-48, January.
    2. Du, Yuxin & Teixeira, Aurora A.C., 2012. "A bibliometric account of Chinese economics research through the lens of the China Economic Review," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 743-762.
    3. repec:spr:qualqt:v:51:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11135-016-0366-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dong, Liang & Liang, Hanwei & Gao, Zhiqiu & Luo, Xiao & Ren, Jingzheng, 2016. "Spatial distribution of China׳s renewable energy industry: Regional features and implications for a harmonious development future," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1521-1531.
    5. Anping Chen & Nicolaas Groenewold, 2015. "The Regional Effects of Macroeconomic Shocks in China," ERSA conference papers ersa15p17, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Lee, Wai Choi & Cheong, Tsun Se & Wu, Yanrui, 2017. "The Impacts of Financial Development, Urbanization, and Globalization on Income Inequality: A Regression-based Decomposition Approach," ADBI Working Papers 651, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    7. José Villaverde & Adolfo Maza, 2012. "Chinese per Capita Income Distribution, 1992–2007: A Regional Perspective," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 313-331, December.
    8. 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.
    9. Lim, Jinyang & Nam, Changi & Kim, Seongcheol & Rhee, Hongjai & Lee, Euehun & Lee, Hongkyu, 2012. "Forecasting 3G mobile subscription in China: A study based on stochastic frontier analysis and a Bass diffusion model," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 858-871.
    10. Wang, Sun Ling & Huang, Jikun & Wang, Xiaobing & Tuan, Francis, 2016. "China’s Regional Agricultural Productivity Growth: Catching Up or Lagging Behind," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235709, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Anping Chen & Nicolaas Groenewold, 2013. "Regional Effects in China of an Emissions-Reduction Policy: Tax v. Subsidy," ERSA conference papers ersa13p1275, European Regional Science Association.
    12. Tian, Xu & Zhang, Xiaoheng & Zhou, Yingheng & Yu, Xiaohua, 2016. "Regional income inequality in China revisited: A perspective from club convergence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 50-58.
    13. Li, Tingting & Lai, Jennifer T. & Wang, Yong & Zhao, Dingtao, 2016. "Long-run relationship between inequality and growth in post-reform China: New evidence from dynamic panel model," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 238-252.

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