IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Wealth Accumulation and Distribution in Urban China

  • Xin Meng
Registered author(s):

Under socialism it was neither possible nor necessary to accumulate significant levels of personal wealth. The acceleration of economic reform in the last decade, however, has brought dramatic increases in income and investment opportunities. Reform has also reduced social protections provided by the state welfare system. In response to these changes, between 1995 and 2002, urban average real household net total wealth increased by 24% per annum. There is a concern, however, that those accumulating wealth are the economic and political elites, while those unable to accumulate wealth are the most vulnerable workers, who are losing social protection. Using Chinese urban survey data of 1995, 1999, and 2002, this article investigates this issue. It is found that households with above-average income have accumulated more wealth than their poorer counterparts. In addition, a large proportion of this wealth accumulation may be from nonearned sources, such as buying larger and better housing at highly subsidized prices. Furthermore, party members and their children have benefited a great deal from this fast wealth accumulation process. Although at lower rates, the poor and vulnerable have also been able to accumulate wealth.

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://www.journals.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/resolve?id=doi:10.1086/516761
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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 University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 55 (2007)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 761-791

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:55:y:2007:p:761-791
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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. repec:dgr:uvatin:19990069 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. repec:dgr:uvatin:1999069 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. John Giles & Kyeongwon Yoo, 2007. "Precautionary Behavior, Migrant Networks, and Household Consumption Decisions: An Empirical Analysis Using Household Panel Data from Rural China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 534-551, August.
  4. Christopher D. Carroll & Karen E. Dynan & Spencer D. Krane, 1999. "Unemployment risk and precautionary wealth: evidence from households' balance sheets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Knight, John B & Song, Lina, 1991. "The Determinants of Urban Income Inequality in China," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(2), pages 123-54, May.
  6. Michael Alexeev, 1999. "The effect of privatization on wealth distribution in Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 449-465, July.
  7. repec:dgr:uvatin:2099069 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Li, Hongbin & Liu, Pak-Wai & Zhang, Junsen & Ma, Ning, 2006. "Economic Returns to Communist Party Membership: Evidence from Urban Chinese Twins," IZA Discussion Papers 2118, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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.
  10. Jonathan Morduch & Terry Sicular, 1998. "Politics, Growth and Inequality in Rural China: Does It Pay To Join the Party?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1832, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Davies, James B. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 2000. "The distribution of wealth," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 605-675 Elsevier.
  12. Ferreira, Francisco H. G., 1997. "Economic transition and the distributions of income and wealth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1808, The World Bank.
  13. Kapteyn, Arie & Alessie, Rob & Lusardi, Annamaria, 1999. "Explaining the wealth holdings of different cohorts : productivity growth and social security," Serie Research Memoranda 0038, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  14. 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.
  15. Franco Modigliani & Shi Larry Cao, 2004. "The Chinese Saving Puzzle and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 145-170, March.
  16. Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2005. "Has China crossed the river? The evolution of wage structure in urban China during reform and retrenchment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 644-663, December.
  17. Knight, J. & Shi, L., 1995. "Fiscal Decentralisation, Redistribution and Reform in China," Economics Series Working Papers 99168, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  18. Aart Kraay, 2000. "Household Saving in China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(3), pages 545-570, September.
  19. 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.
  20. Kapteyn, Arie & Alessie, Rob & Lusardi, Annamaria, 1999. "Explaining the wealth holdings of different cohorts : productivity growth and social security," Serie Research Memoranda 0038, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  21. Wang, Yan, 1995. "Permanent Income and Wealth Accumulation: A Cross-Sectional Study of Chinese Urban and Rural Households," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(3), pages 523-50, April.
  22. Meng, Xin, 2003. "Unemployment, consumption smoothing, and precautionary saving in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 465-485, September.
  23. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald, 2003. "Consistent Tests for Stochastic Dominance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 71-104, January.
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:ucp:ecdecc:v:55:y:2007:p:761-791. 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: (Journals Division)

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.