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Why Doesn't the Kuznets Curve on Income Distribution Hold in Ancient China?

Author

Listed:
  • Qichun He

    (Central University of Finance and Economics)

  • Heng-fu Zou

    (Development Research Group, World Bank
    Central University of Finance and Economics)

Abstract

We find robust evidence that in ancient China that consists of many consecutive dynasties, within each dynasty, the inequality demonstrates a "U" shape (or a "spoon" shape to be more precise). Therefore, as inequality hits an upper bound, war happens and a new dynasty replaces the old one. The cycle repeats itself. A simple explanation has been offered. Policy implications have also been presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Qichun He & Heng-fu Zou, 2013. "Why Doesn't the Kuznets Curve on Income Distribution Hold in Ancient China?," CEMA Working Papers 576, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cuf:wpaper:576
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Kuznets Curve; Income inequality; U shape; Ancient China;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • N95 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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