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The Inequality of Regional Economic Development in China between 1991 and 2001


  • Jr-Tsung Huang
  • Chun-Chien Kuo
  • An-Pang Kao


This paper measures the unequal development of the regional economies in China and investigates the primary factors leading to the inequality. The official data on China's regional GDP and the regional GDP of three industrial sectors from 1991-2001, as reported in the China Statistical Yearbook and A Statistical Survey of China, are adopted to calculate and decompose the Gini coefficient for each year. The primary finding is that the levels of inequality in China's regional economies clearly showed a slight upward trend after 1991. The inequality of the overall GDP is primarily attributed to the between-group effect rather than to the within-group effect. It is also found that the regional inequality of the secondary industry sector's development accounted for half of the overall inequality. Thus, this study suggests that it is crucial for China to formulate and adhere to policies that will help it to develop the economy more equally among all areas and to develop the secondary industry sector among all regions/provinces in order to overcome the important issue of the inequality in regional economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Jr-Tsung Huang & Chun-Chien Kuo & An-Pang Kao, 2003. "The Inequality of Regional Economic Development in China between 1991 and 2001," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(3), pages 273-285.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:1:y:2003:i:3:p:273-285 DOI: 10.1080/476828032000108553

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dennis Tao Yang, 1999. "Urban-Biased Policies and Rising Income Inequality in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 306-310, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Li, Chao & Gibson, John, 2013. "Rising Regional Inequality in China: Fact or Artifact?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 16-29.
    2. Cheong, Tsun Se & Wu, Yanrui, 2014. "The impacts of structural transformation and industrial upgrading on regional inequality in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 339-350.
    3. Tsun Se Cheong & Yanrui Wu, 2013. "Globalization and Regional Inequality," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 13-10, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    4. Zhou, Xianbo & Li, Kui-Wai & Li, Qin, 2011. "An analysis on technical efficiency in post-reform China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 357-372, September.

    More about this item


    China; Economic Development; Gini Coefficient Decomposition; Inequality; JEL Classifications: D39; O10; R12;

    JEL classification:

    • D39 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Other
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)


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