IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The trend of the Gini coefficient of China

  • Jiandong Chen
  • Dai Dai
  • Ming Pu
  • Wenxuan Hou
  • Qiaobin Feng

A literature review indicates that the main problem in calculating the Gini coefficient of Chinese residents’ income is the shortcomings of the data sources. Though many studies have tried to overcome these limitations through decomposing the nationwide Gini ratio by urban and rural areas, the final results have been underestimated, due to the overlap term or residual in the decomposition. This paper analyses the effects of the overlap term on calculating the overall Gini coefficient through a statistical approach, and estimates Chinese Gini ratios since economic reform and open door policies were adopted. Based on decomposing the Chinese Gini coefficient from 1978 to 2006, the authors find that the key factor of income inequality comes from income disparity between rural and urban inhabitants. The authors investigate the features of this income inequality between rural and urban areas. Furthermore, statistical approaches are employed to evaluate the effects of the development of urbanisation and rural-to-urban average income on the income inequality of the whole nation. The results show that accelerating the pace of urbanisation is the key issue to improving Chinese income disparity. On the basis of the above analysis, the paper proposes related policies for policy-makers.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by BWPI, The University of Manchester in its series Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series with number 10910.

in new window

Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:10910
Contact details of provider: Postal: Humanities Bridgeford Street, Oxford Road,Manchester, M13 9PL
Phone: +44(0)7717 881567
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1984. "Inequality Decomposition by Population Subgroups," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1369-85, November.
  2. Lopez, Humberto & Serven, Luis, 2006. "A normal relationship ? Poverty, growth, and inequality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3814, The World Bank.
  3. 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.
  4. Deaton, A.S., 1993. "Data and Econometric Tools for Development Analysis," Papers 172, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  5. Milanovic, Branko, 1999. "True world income distribution, 1988 and 1993 - first calculations, based on household surveys alone," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2244, The World Bank.
  6. Lambert, Peter J & Aronson, J Richard, 1993. "Inequality Decomposition Analysis and the Gini Coefficient Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1221-27, September.
  7. Fang, Cheng & Zhang, Xiaobo & Fan, Shenggen, 2002. "Emergence of urban poverty and inequality in China: evidence from household survey," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 430-443, December.
  8. Pyatt, Graham, 1976. "On the Interpretation and Disaggregation of Gini Coefficients," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(342), pages 243-55, June.
  9. Peter J. Lambert & André Decoster, 2005. "The Gini Coefficient Reveals More," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0508, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  10. Anthony Shorrocks & Guanghua Wan, 2005. "Spatial decomposition of inequality," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 59-81, January.
  11. Mookherjee, Dilip & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1982. "A Decomposition Analysis of the Trend in UK Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 886-902, December.
  12. Wataru Souma, 2000. "Universal Structure of the Personal Income Distribution," Papers cond-mat/0011373,
  13. Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975.
  14. Gibson, John & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 2001. "Why is income inequality so low in China compared to other countries?: The effect of household survey methods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 329-333, June.
  15. Shujie Yao, 1997. "Decomposition of Gini coefficients by income factors: a new approach and application," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 27-31.
  16. Branko milanovic, 2003. "True world income distribution, 1988 and 1993: First calculation based on household surveys alo," HEW 0305002, EconWPA.
  17. Hajo Holzmann & Sebastian Vollmer & Julian Weisbrod, 2007. "Income Distribution Dynamics and Pro-Poor Growth in the World from 1970 to 2003," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 161, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
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:bwp:bwppap:10910. 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: (Rowena Harding)

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.