IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

An analysis of income polarisation in rural and urban China

  • Céline Bonnefond
  • Matthieu Clément

The purpose of this article is to contribute to the analysis of Chinese income inequality by focusing more specifically on income polarisation, which captures both alienation (i.e. heterogeneity between income groups) and identification (i.e. homogeneity within groups). The empirical investigations conducted as part of this research are based on the China Health and Nutrition Survey data from 1989 to 2006 and indicate that Chinese household income is strongly polarised. After a period of stagnation between 1989 and 1997, the degree of polarisation increased significantly between 1997 and 2006, indicating the constitution of identified groups in middle and upper income ranges. Although the level of income polarisation is higher in rural areas, the increase in polarisation is far more conspicuous in urban areas, suggesting that the risk of social tensions is more pregnant in Chinese cities. The analysis of the sources of income polarisation in rural areas shows that the increase in polarisation is closely linked to non-agricultural opportunities. In urban areas the emergence of identified groups in middle and upper income classes can be explained both by the sharp decline in subsidies and by the liberalisation of the urban labour market and state enterprises.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/14631377.2012.647972
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Post-Communist Economies.

Volume (Year): 24 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 15-37

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:pocoec:v:24:y:2012:i:1:p:15-37
DOI: 10.1080/14631377.2012.647972
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CPCE20

Order Information: Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/CPCE20

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Joan Esteban & Carlos Gradín & Debraj Ray, 2007. "An Extension of a Measure of Polarization, with an application to the income distribution of five OECD countries," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, April.
  2. Marron, J.S. & Schmitz, H.-P., 1992. "Simultaneous Density Estimation of Several Income Distributions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(04), pages 476-488, December.
  3. Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  4. Xin Meng, 2004. "Economic Restructuring and Income Inequality in Urban China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(3), pages 357-379, 09.
  5. Keith Griffin & Azizur Rahman Khan & Carl Riskin, 1999. "Income Distribution in Urban China during the Period of Economic Reform and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 296-300, May.
  6. Xiaolan Fu & V. N. Balasubramanyam, 2003. "Township and Village Enterprises in China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 27-46.
  7. Abdelkrim Araar, 2008. "On the Decomposition of Polarization Indices: Illustrations with Chinese and Nigerian Household Surveys," Cahiers de recherche 0806, CIRPEE.
  8. Wan, Guanghua & Zhou, Zhangyue, 2004. "Income Inequality in Rural China: Regression-based Decomposition Using Household Data," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  9. Isaias H. Salgado-Ugarte & Marco A. Perez-Hernandez, 2003. "Exploring the use of variable bandwidth kernel density estimators," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(2), pages 133-147, June.
  10. Demurger, Sylvie & Fournier, Martin & Li, Shi, 2006. "Urban income inequality in China revisited (1988-2002)," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 354-359, December.
  11. Gradin, Carlos, 2000. "Polarization by Sub-populations in Spain, 1973-91," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(4), pages 457-74, December.
  12. Kai-yuen, Tsui, 1998. "Factor Decomposition of Chinese Rural Income Inequality: New Methodology, Empirical Findings, and Policy Implications," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 502-528, September.
  13. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Working Papers 46, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  14. Renard, Mary-Francoise, 2002. "A pessimistic view on the impact of regional inequalities," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 341-344, December.
  15. Benjamin, Dwayne & Brandt, Loren & Giles, John, 2005. "The Evolution of Income Inequality in Rural China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 769-824, July.
  16. Terry Sicular & Yue Ximing & Björn Gustafsson & Li Shi, 2007. "The Urban-Rural Income Gap And Inequality In China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(1), pages 93-126, 03.
  17. Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 1999. "Which Regional Inequality? The Evolution of Rural-Urban and Inland-Coastal Inequality in China from 1983 to 1995," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 686-701, December.
  18. Chen, Xi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2009. "The Distribution of Income and Well-Being in Rural China: A Survey of Panel Data Sets, Studies and New Directions," MPRA Paper 20587, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Jenkins, Stephen P., 1995. "Did the middle class shrink during the 1980s? UK evidence from kernel density estimates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 407-413, October.
  20. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & John Giles & Sangui Wang, 2005. "Income Inequality During China's Economic Transition," Working Papers tecipa-238, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  21. Leonardo Gasparini & Matías Horenstein & Sergio Olivieri, 2006. "Economic Polarisation in Latin America and the Caribbean: What do Household Surveys Tell Us?," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0038, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:pocoec:v:24:y:2012:i:1:p:15-37. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.