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The evolution of China’s social policies

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  • Richard Herd

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Abstract

The movement of the Chinese economy towards a market-based system brought about a profound change in the nature of the social protection system in China and in the relative incomes of different groups in society. The collectively-provided health care systems failed to adapt to the new economic system, pension provision in urban ceased to be provided for all workers and rewards in the labour market became linked to the market-value of a skills. The result was a significant increase in inequality driven, especially by differences between urban and rural incomes. Since the middle of the last decade, though, inequality has stopped rising and shows signs of declining as increased labour mobility has tended to raise incomes in rural areas. At the same time, a range of new social policies have been introduced. While the level of spending on these policies remains low, they offer a framework for future expansion. There are still some areas where only limited progress has been made, notably concerning the access of migrants to public services in urban areas. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Herd, 2013. "The evolution of China’s social policies," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 109-141, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ecopln:v:46:y:2013:i:1:p:109-141
    DOI: 10.1007/s10644-012-9138-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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