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Disparity in Health Resource Allocation Between Rural and Urban Areas in China: Is It Getting Worse?

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  • Hua Li
  • Gene Hsin Chang

Abstract

Most economics literature holds that the disparity in income and health resource allocation between China's urban and rural areas has been increasing since the beginning of the reform period in 1978. This paper argues, contrary to the conventional view, that the real gap in health resources allocation between China's urban and rural areas, as measured by the Gini coefficient, has been shrinking during the reform period. The urban-rural disparity is now smaller than that in the 1970s, when the "barefoot doctor" system provided broad basic medical service in rural areas. The better health resources available in rural China have reduced the urban-rural disparity in health conditions such as infant mortality.

Suggested Citation

  • Hua Li & Gene Hsin Chang, 2008. "Disparity in Health Resource Allocation Between Rural and Urban Areas in China: Is It Getting Worse?," Chinese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 45-55, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:chinec:v:41:y:2008:i:6:p:45-55
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