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Social Identity and Inequality: The Impact of China's Hokou System

  • Farzana Afridi

    ()

  • Sherry Xin Li

    ()

  • Yufei Ren

    ()

They conduct an experimental study to investigate the causal impact of social identity on individuals' response to economic incentives. They 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. Their 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. [Working Paper No. 190]

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:3003
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  1. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
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  13. 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.
  14. repec:feb:artefa:0046 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status In Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188, February.
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