Inequality and economic growth in China
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to study the long-run relationship between economic growth and income inequality in China during the pre-reform (1952-1978) and post-reform (1979-2007) periods, this will be done via cointegration analysis. Design/methodology/approach - The aim of this paper is to offer a proper answer to the issue of the inequality-growth nexus by using a cointegrated VAR-setting approach, in this way, the study can cope and avoid the problems of parameter heterogeneneity, omitted variable bias and endogeneity, from which the model of macroeconometric analysis suffers. Findings - The cointegration analysis shows that, for both periods the relationship is positive and the inequality-growth elasticity has grown in the second period. In addition, a more robust test of Granger-causality suggested by Toda and Yamamoto indicates that whereas in the first period there is unidirectional causality from inequality to growth, there is no directional causality in the second period. Practical implications - The pre-reform period going from 1952 to 1978 is characterized by the adoption and implementation of a Soviet-type economy. The economy showed a modest annual economic growth rate of 2.33 percent and very low levels of inequality, with an average Gini coefficient of 0.27. The post-reform period tried to combine central planning with market-oriented reforms to increase productivity. In fact, the economy has grown at an annual growth rate of 7.07 percent since 1979 and also the inequality with an average Gini coefficient of 0.33. Originality/value - The paper studies the relationship between income inequality and economic growth in China during the pre and post reform periods. A significant and positive long-run relationship between inequality and economic growth in both periods was found. The inequality-growth elasticity is greater in the post-reform than the pre-reform period. Using a more robust Granger causality test the authors find a unidirectional predetermination between the variables for the whole period and for the pre-reform period. However, there is not causality in the post-reform period. Except the urban-rural disparity which explains the unidirectional causality from inequality to growth, pre-reform China was basically an egalitarian society. In the pre-reform period, the low inequality was identified as a strain on economic growth. However, the reform period has seen remarkable growth. Although regional inequality and the rural-urban gap declined from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, both have increased rather dramatically since the mid-1980s.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 5 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK|
Web: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/jcefts.htm Email:
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994.
"Distributive Politics and Economic Growth,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Niko Gobbin & Glenn Rayp, 2008. "Different ways of looking at old issues: a time-series approach to inequality and growth," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(7), pages 885-895.
- Xiaobo Zhang & Kevin Honglin Zhang, 2002. "Regional Inequality," Chapters,in: The Globalization of the Chinese Economy, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Ravi Kanbur & Xiaobo Zhang, 2005. "Fifty Years of Regional Inequality in China: a Journey Through Central Planning, Reform, and Openness," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 87-106, February.
- Guanghua Wan & Ming Lu & Zhao Chen, 2007. "Globalization And Regional Income Inequality: Empirical Evidence From Within China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(1), pages 35-59, March.
- Wan, Guanghua & Lu, Ming & Chen, Zhao, 2006. "Globalization and Regional Income Inequality: Empirical evidence from within China," WIDER Working Paper Series 139, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992. "Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
- Kwiatkowski, D. & Phillips, P.C.B. & Schmidt, P., 1990. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of Unit Root : How Sure are we that Economic Time Series have a Unit Root?," Papers 8905, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
- Denis Kwiatkowski & Peter C.B. Phillips & Peter Schmidt, 1991. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of a Unit Root: How Sure Are We That Economic Time Series Have a Unit Root?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 979, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1990. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference on Cointegration--With Applications to the Demand for Money," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 169-210, May.
- Roman Arjona & Maxime Ladaique & Mark Pearson, 2001. "Growth, Inequality and Social Protection," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 51, OECD Publishing.
- Wan, Guanghua & Lu, Ming & Chen, Zhao, 2006. "The inequality-growth nexus in the short and long run: Empirical evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 654-667, December.
- Wan, Guanghua & Lu, Ming & Chen, Zhao, 2006. "The Inequality-Growth Nexus in the Short and Long Runs: Empirical Evidence from China," WIDER Working Paper Series 092, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- McCallum, Bennett T., 1984. "On low-frequency estimates of long-run relationships in macroeconomics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-14, July.
- Bennett T. McCallum, 1983. "On Low-Frequency Estimates of "Long-Run" Relationships in Macro- economics," NBER Working Papers 1162, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-187, June.
- Phillips, P.C.B., 1986. "Understanding spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 311-340, December.
- Peter C.B. Phillips, 1985. "Understanding Spurious Regressions in Econometrics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 757, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Granger, C. W. J., 1988. "Some recent development in a concept of causality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 199-211.
- Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
- Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)