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Why are household incomes more unequally distributed in China than in Russia?

Author

Listed:
  • Björn Gustafsson
  • Li Shi
  • Ludmila Nivorozhkina

Abstract

Harmonised microdata show a Gini coefficient for per capita total income of 45.3% in China (2002) and 33.6% in Russia (2003). A much larger urban to rural income gap in combination with a much smaller proportion of people living in urban areas in China are important reasons for this cross-country difference in inequality. Wage is a more non-equalising income source in China than in Russia. While Russian public transfers reduce income inequality, Chinese public transfers increase income inequality. Cross-country differences in the process of transition are also found to be significant. A relatively large non-agriculture self-employment sector is non-equalising in rural China, but is also narrowing the urban to rural income gap. In contrast to the many cross-country differences revealed, we report income inequality among urban residents in China and in urban Russia to be very similar. Copyright The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Björn Gustafsson & Li Shi & Ludmila Nivorozhkina, 2011. "Why are household incomes more unequally distributed in China than in Russia?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(5), pages 897-920.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:35:y:2011:i:5:p:897-920
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/beq052
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    Cited by:

    1. Jérôme Lefranc, 2012. "Polarisation et déclin de la classe moyenne : le cas de la Russie," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12054, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    2. repec:eee:injoed:v:63:y:2018:i:c:p:4-11 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies

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