Housing inequalities under market deepening: the case of Guangzhou, China
Escalating housing prices in China’s major metropolises have brought widespread discontents. There is a general impression that housing inequality is rising, and that housing has become increasingly out of reach of ordinary households. Yet, much of the literature on urban housing in China is based on data generated in the early reform period. Very little has been written about what has happened since the 1998 housing reform when both the production and the consumption of housing became primarily market based. The present paper aims to address this deficiency with reference to surveys conducted in Guangzhou in 1996, 2001, and 2005. Quality-adjusted inequality indices including the Gini coefficient and the Theil index are computed to compare housing inequality before and after the ending of welfare allocation of housing at the turn of the century. Quite unexpectedly, the results show only a modest increase in inequality in housing consumption. Keywords: marketization, housing allocation, inequality indices, Guangzhou
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