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

Social Identity and Inequality--The Impact of China’s Hukou System

  • Farzana Afridi

    (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India)

  • Sherry Xin Li

    (School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) University of Texas at Dallas, GR31)

  • Yufei Ren

    (School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) University of Texas at Dallas, GR31)

We conduct an experimental study to investigate the causal impact of social identity on individuals? response to economic incentives. We focus on China?s decades old household registration system, or the hukou institution, which categorizes citizens into urban and rural residents, and favors the former over the latter in resource allocation. Our results indicate that making individuals? hukou status salient and public significantly reduces the performance of rural migrant students on an incentivized cognitive task by 10 percent. This leads to a leftward shift of their earnings distribution – the proportion of rural migrants below the 25th earnings percentile increases significantly by almost 19 percentage points. However, among non-migrants the proportion with earnings below the 25th percentile drops by 5 percentage points, and the proportion above the 75th percentile increases by almost 8 percentage points, albeit insignificantly. The results demonstrate the impact of institutionally imposed social identity on individuals? intrinsic response to incentives, and consequently on widening income inequality.

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.cdedse.org/pdf/work190.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics in its series Working papers with number 190.

as
in new window

Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:190
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Delhi 110 007

Phone: (011) 27667005
Fax: (011) 27667159
Web page: http://www.cdedse.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.cdedse.org/ Email:


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. Kate Krause & William Harbaugh, 2000. "Children's altruism in public good and dictator experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00054, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Fryer, Roland & List, John A. & Levitt, Steven D., 2008. "Exploring the Impact of Financial Incentives on Stereotype Threat: Evidence from a Pilot Study," Scholarly Articles 2961941, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Hanming Fang & Glenn C. Loury, 2005. ""Dysfunctional Identities" Can Be Rational," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-147, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  4. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  5. Jonathan David Ostry & Andrew Berg, 2011. "Inequality and Unsustainable Growth; Two Sides of the Same Coin?," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 11/08, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & A. Joshua Strickland, 2007. "Social Identity and Preferences," NBER Working Papers 13309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2007. "China's (uneven) progress against poverty," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 1-42, January.
  8. Harbaugh, William T & Krause, Kate, 2000. "Children's Altruism in Public Good and Dictator Experiments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(1), pages 95-109, January.
  9. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status in Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188.
  10. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Alan de Brauw & John Giles, 2005. "Migrant Opportunity and the Educational Attainment of Youth in Rural China," Department of Economics Working Papers 2005-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  12. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
  13. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2007. "Estimating Risk Attitudes in Denmark: A Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 341-368, 06.
  14. Kazuo Yamaguchi, 1989. "A formal theory for male-preferring stopping rules of childbearing: sex differences in birth order and in the number of siblings," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(3), pages 451-465, August.
  15. 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.
  16. Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2004. "Gender and competition at a young age," Framed Field Experiments 00151, The Field Experiments Website.
  17. Karla Hoff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2010. "Equilibrium Fictions: A Cognitive Approach to Societal Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 15776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Roy Chen & Yan Chen, 2011. "The Potential of Social Identity for Equilibrium Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2562-89, October.
  19. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
  20. Whalley, John & Zhang, Shunming, 2007. "A numerical simulation analysis of (Hukou) labour mobility restrictions in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 392-410, July.
  21. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," NBER Working Papers 11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Thomas S. Dee, 2009. "Stereotype Threat and the Student-Athlete," NBER Working Papers 14705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. John Smith, 2007. "Reputation, Social Identity and Social Conflict," Departmental Working Papers 200709, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  24. Angus Deaton & Jean Dreze, 2002. "Poverty and Inequality in India: A Re-Examination," Working Papers 184, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  25. Gene M. Grossman (ed.), 1996. "Economic Growth," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 553, 8.
  26. Karla Hoff & Priyanka Pandey, 2006. "Discrimination, Social Identity, and Durable Inequalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 206-211, May.
  27. Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "Identity, Dignity and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," IZA Discussion Papers 2583, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. Yao, Shujie & Zhang, Zongyi & Hanmer, Lucia, 2004. "Growing inequality and poverty in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-163.
  29. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
  30. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2006. "The impact of group membership on cooperation and norm enforcement: evidence using random assignment to real social groups," Working Papers 06-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  31. repec:feb:artefa:0046 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Kate Krause & Timothy Berry & William Harbaugh, 2001. "Garp for kids: On the development of rational choice behavior," Artefactual Field Experiments 00056, The Field Experiments Website.
  33. Hoff, Karla & Pandey, Priyanka, 2004. "Belief systems and durable inequalities : an experimental investigation of Indian caste," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3351, The World Bank.
  34. Gaurav Datt & Martin Ravallion, 2002. "Is India's Economic Growth Leaving the Poor Behind?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 89-108, Summer.
  35. William T. Harbaugh & Kate Krause & Timothy R. Berry, 2001. "GARP for Kids: On the Development of Rational Choice Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1539-1545, December.
  36. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Can high-inequality developing countries escape absolute poverty?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 51-57, September.
  37. Chen, Yan & Li, Sherry Xin & Liu, Tracy Xiao & Shih, Margaret, 2014. "Which hat to wear? Impact of natural identities on coordination and cooperation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 58-86.
  38. Ulrich Horst & Alan Kirman & Miriam Teschl, 2007. "Changing Identity: The Emergence of Social Groups," Economics Working Papers 0078, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  39. Alain Cohn & Ernst Fehr & Benedikt Herrmann & Frédéric Schneider, 2011. "Social comparison in the workplace: evidence from a field experiment," ECON - Working Papers 007, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  40. Xuejin Zuo & Feng Wang, 1999. "Inside China's Cities: Institutional Barriers and Opportunities for Urban Migrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 276-280, May.
  41. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-57, March.
  42. Berg, Andrew & Ostry, Jonathan D. & Zettelmeyer, Jeromin, 2012. "What makes growth sustained?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 149-166.
  43. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  44. Lu, Zhigang & Song, Shunfeng, 2006. "Rural-urban migration and wage determination: The case of Tianjin, China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 337-345.
  45. Chen, Aimin, 2002. "Urbanization and disparities in China: challenges of growth and development," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 407-411, December.
  46. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2005. "Managing diversity by creating team identity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 371-392, November.
  47. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & Geoffrey W. Fisher, 2010. "Religious Identity and Economic Behavior," NBER Working Papers 15925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  49. Liu, Zhiqiang, 2005. "Institution and inequality: the hukou system in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 133-157, March.
  50. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_dreze_poverty_india is not listed on IDEAS
  51. Hoff, Karla & Pandey, Priyanka, 2014. "Making up people—The effect of identity on performance in a modernizing society," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 118-131.
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:cde:cdewps:190. 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: (Sanjeev Sharma)

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.