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Globalization and the Urban Poor in China

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  • Yin Zhang
  • Guanghua Wan

Abstract

This paper examines the distributional impact of globalization on the poor in urban China. Employing the kernel density estimation technique, we recovered from irregularly grouped household survey data the income distributions of 29 Chinese provinces for 1988–2001. Panels of the income shares of the poorest 20, 10 and 5 per cent of the urban residents were then compiled. In a fixed-effect model, two of the central conclusions of Dollar and Kraay (2002) – that ‘the incomes of the poor rise equi-proportionately with average income’ and that trade openness has little distributional effect on poverty – were revisited. Our results lend little support to either of the Dollar-Kraay conclusions, but instead indicate that average income growth is associated with worsening income distribution while globalization in general, and trade openness in particular, raises the income shares of the poor. It is also found that openness to trade and openness to FDI have differential distributional effects. The beneficial effect of trade was not restricted to the coastal provinces, but weakened significantly after 1992. These findings are robust to allowing for nonlinearity in the effect of globalization and to controlling for the influence of several other variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Yin Zhang & Guanghua Wan, 2006. "Globalization and the Urban Poor in China," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 196, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  • Handle: RePEc:dun:dpaper:196
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    File URL: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/media/dundeewebsite/economicstudies/documents/discussion/DDPE_196.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keith Griffin & Azizur Rahman Khan & Carl Riskin, 1999. "Income Distribution in Urban China during the Period of Economic Reform and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 296-300, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amiti, Mary & Cameron, Lisa, 2012. "Trade Liberalization and the Wage Skill Premium: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 277-287.
    2. Camelia Minoiu & Sanjay Reddy, 2014. "Kernel density estimation on grouped data: the case of poverty assessment," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(2), pages 163-189, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Globalization; poverty; China;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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