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Competitive Pressures on China: Income Inequality and Migration

In: Input–Output Economics: Theory And Applications Featuring Asian Economies

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  • Thijs ten Raa
  • Haoran Pan

Abstract

How would perfect competition affect the distribution of income in China? To answer this question, we integrate the two main streams of income distribution theory, namely the functional and the personal income approaches. First, using a general equilibrium model of China comprising 30 sectors and 27 provinces, marginal productivities are used as competitive commodity prices and factor rewards. Second, the rewards are imputed to households using their compositions in terms of persons and factor endowment entitlements. The ensuing distribution is contrasted with the status quo. Less skilled labor would stand to lose and, therefore, inequality would mount. Skilled workers, managers and technicians would move from Western and Central China to Eastern China. These flows would be more than offset by a flow of unskilled labor from Eastern China to Central China. Our finding that Eastern China has too many unskilled workers, relative to the competitive benchmark, suggests that the Harris-Todaro mechanism operates in China. Competition would change the predominant nature of inequality from the rural-urban divide to differences between the social classes. Moreover, the existing negative relationship between development and inequality would evaporate.

Suggested Citation

  • Thijs ten Raa & Haoran Pan, 2009. "Competitive Pressures on China: Income Inequality and Migration," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Input–Output Economics: Theory And Applications Featuring Asian Economies, chapter 24, pages 449-485, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:wschap:9789812833679_0024
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    1. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-625, April.
    2. Thijs ten Raa & Pierre Mohnen, 2009. "The Location of Comparative Advantages on the Basis of Fundamentals Only," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Input–Output Economics: Theory And Applications Featuring Asian Economies, chapter 23, pages 425-446, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Thijs ten Raa & Pierre Mohnen, 2009. "Neoclassical Growth Accounting and Frontier Analysis: A Synthesis," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Input–Output Economics: Theory And Applications Featuring Asian Economies, chapter 19, pages 347-370, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Li, Baoxi & Cheng, Shixiong & Xiao, De, 2020. "The impacts of environmental pollution and brain drain on income inequality," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:7:y:2015:i:12:p:16362-16378:d:60411 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Fu, Xue & Lahr, Michael & Yaxiong, Zhang & Meng, Bo, 2017. "Actions on climate change, Intended Reducing carbon emissions in China via optimal industry shifts: Toward hi-tech industries, cleaner resources and higher carbon shares in less-develop regions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 616-638.
    5. Tingting Li & Hualou Long & Shuangshuang Tu & Yanfei Wang, 2015. "Analysis of Income Inequality Based on Income Mobility for Poverty Alleviation in Rural China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(12), pages 1-17, December.
    6. Thijs Raa, 2020. "Linkages, fields of influence and key sectors," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 9(1), pages 1-3, December.
    7. Sahoo, A., 2008. "Essays on the Indian economy : Competitive pressure, productivity and performance," Other publications TiSEM 374e9035-815c-43fe-a68e-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Koyin Chang & Dennis Wilson & Yung-Hsiang Ying & Yoonbai Kim, 2010. "The decomposition of disturbances to national output of China-the evidence of sectoral and regional shocks," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(6), pages 747-757.
    9. Thomas Gries & Manfred Kraft & Manuel Simon, 2016. "Explaining inter-provincial migration in China," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 709-731, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Input–Output Analysis; National Accounts; Productivity; Performance; Canadian Economy; Chinese Economy; Indian Economy; Asian Economics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F37 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Finance Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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