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Decomposition of the increase in earnings inequality in urban China: A distributional approach

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  • Chi, Wei
  • Li, Bo
  • Yu, Qiumei

Abstract

This study examines changes in Chinese urban income distribution from 1987 to 1996 and 1996 to 2004 using nationwide household data and investigates the causes of these changes. The Firpo, Fortin, and Lemieux (2007, 2009) method based on unconditional quantile regressions is used to decompose changes in income distribution and income inequality measures, such as variance and a 10:90 ratio. The decomposition results show that wage structure effects, such as a widening gender earnings gap, increases in returns to college education, and increases in earnings differentials between industries, company ownership types, and regions, have been the major contributors to the overall increases in income inequality. It was also found that at different points on the income distribution (e.g., the lower or upper half), the contributing factors that increase income inequality are different.

Suggested Citation

  • Chi, Wei & Li, Bo & Yu, Qiumei, 2011. "Decomposition of the increase in earnings inequality in urban China: A distributional approach," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 299-312, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:22:y:2011:i:3:p:299-312
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Raymundo Campos & Gerardo Esquivel & Nora Lustig, 2012. "The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Mexico, 1989–2010," Working Papers 267, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Kanbur, Ravi & Wang, Yue & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2017. "The Great Chinese Inequality Turnaround," IZA Discussion Papers 10635, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Piketty, Thomas & Yang, Li & Zucman, Gabriel, 2017. "Capital Accumulation, Private Property and Rising Inequality in China, 1978-2015," CEPR Discussion Papers 12410, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Aurora Galego & João Pereira, 2014. "Decomposition of Regional Wage Differences Along the Wage Distribution in Portugal: The Importance of Covariates," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 46(10), pages 2514-2532, October.
    5. Chi, Wei, 2012. "Capital income and income inequality: Evidence from urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 228-239.
    6. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "Capital Accumulation, Private Property and Rising Inequality in China, 1978-2015," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2018-54, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Mar 2018.
    7. Valerio Mendoza, Octasiano M., 2016. "Preferential policies and income inequality: Evidence from Special Economic Zones and Open Cities in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 228-240.

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