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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. 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.
  2. Smith, John, 2010. "Reputation, social identity, and social conflict," MPRA Paper 23336, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. 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.
  4. Daniel Benjamin & James Choi & A. Strickland, 2008. "Social Identity and Preferences," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2634, Yale School of Management.
  5. Thomas S. Dee, 2014. "Stereotype Threat And The Student-Athlete," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 173-182, 01.
  6. 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.
  7. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. 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.
  9. repec:feb:artefa:0046 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Ulrich Horst & Alan Kirman & Miriam Teschl, 2006. "Changing Identity: The Emergence of Social Groups," Working Papers halshs-00410853, HAL.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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