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Economic growth, income inequality and poverty in china under economic reforms

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  • Shujie Yao

Abstract

China's gross domestic product (GDP) more than quadrupled between 1978 and 1996 under economic reforms. Per capita disposable incomes more than tripled in the cities and almost quadrupled in the rural areas. However, rapid economic growth brought about large income inequality which slowed down poverty reduction. In 1995, there were still 70-170 million people living in poverty. This article aims to assess the relationship between economic growth, income inequality and poverty using both secondary and household survey data. The main findings are (1) urban/rural divide and spatial inequality are two major factors accounting for overall income inequality; (2) non-wage and non-farm incomes are more unequally distributed than wage and farm incomes; and (3) the incidence of poverty is very sensitive to the changes in per capita income and inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Shujie Yao, 1999. "Economic growth, income inequality and poverty in china under economic reforms," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 104-130.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:35:y:1999:i:6:p:104-130
    DOI: 10.1080/00220389908422604
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hay, Donald & Morris, Derek & Liu, Guy & Yao, Shujie, 1994. "Economic Reform and State-Owned Enterprises in China 1979-87," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288459.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chien-Chiang Lee & Chi-Chuan Lee & Chun-Ping Chang, 2015. "Globalization, Economic Growth and Institutional Development in China," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 31-63, March.
    2. Smyth, Russell & Inder, Brett, 2004. "Is Chinese provincial real GDP per capita nonstationary?: Evidence from multiple trend break unit root tests," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-24.
    3. Kailei Wei & Shujie Yao & Aying Liu, "undated". "Foreign direct investment and regional inequality in China," Discussion Papers 07/32, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    4. Yao, Shujie & Zhang, Zongyi & Hanmer, Lucia, 2004. "Growing inequality and poverty in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-163.
    5. Nong Zhu & Xubei Luo, 2014. "The Impact of migration on rural poverty and inequality: a case study in China," CIRANO Working Papers 2014s-08, CIRANO.
    6. Nong Zhu & Xubei Luo, 2010. "The impact of migration on rural poverty and inequality: a case study in China," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(2), pages 191-204, March.
    7. Wei, Kailei & Yao, Shujie & Liu, Aying, 2008. "Foreign Direct Investment and Regional Inequality in China," WIDER Working Paper Series 094, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. WANG, Zuxiang & SMYTH, Russell & NG, Yew-Kwang, 2009. "A new ordered family of Lorenz curves with an application to measuring income inequality and poverty in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 218-235, June.
    9. Zhu, Nong & Luo, Xubei, 2008. "The impact of remittances on rural poverty and inequality in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4637, The World Bank.
    10. repec:spr:soinre:v:136:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-017-1581-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. McCulloch, Neil & Calandrino, Michele, 2003. "Vulnerability and Chronic Poverty in Rural Sichuan," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 611-628, March.

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