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China's Income Distribution, 1985-2001

  • Wu, Ximing
  • Perloff, Jeffrey M.

We employ a new method to estimate China's income distributions using publicly available interval summary statistics. We examine rural, urban and overall income distributions from 1985-2001. We show how the distributions change directly as well as examine trends in equality. Using an inter-temporal decomposition of aggregate inequality, we determine that increases in inequality within rural and urban sectors and the growing rural-urban income gap have been equally responsible for the growth in overall inequality over the last two decades. However, the rural-urban gap has played an increasingly important role in recent years. We also show that urban consumption inequality rose considerably.

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Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt0zd6m0sf.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt0zd6m0sf
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  1. Dale W. Jorgenson, 1998. "Did We Lose the War on Poverty?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 79-96, Winter.
  2. 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.
  3. Golan, Amos & Judge, George G. & Miller, Douglas, 1996. "Maximum Entropy Econometrics," Staff General Research Papers 1488, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn53-1, August.
  5. T. Paul Schultz, 2003. "Human Resources in China: The Birth Quota, Returns to Schooling, and Migration," Working Papers 855, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  6. Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
  7. 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.
  8. Gastwirth, Joseph L & Glauberman, Marcia, 1976. "The Interpolation of the Lorenz Curve and Gini Index from Grouped Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(3), pages 479-83, May.
  9. Kakwani, Nanak C & Podder, N, 1976. "Efficient Estimation of the Lorenz Curve and Associated Inequality Measures from Grouped Observations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(1), pages 137-48, January.
  10. Wu, Ximing, 2003. "Calculation of maximum entropy densities with application to income distribution," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 347-354, August.
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