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Beyond Kuznets: persistent regional inequality in China

  • Christopher Candelaria
  • Mary Daly
  • Galina Hale

Regional inequality in China appears to be persistent and even growing in the past two decades. We study potential offsetting factors and interprovincial migration to shed light on the sources of this persistence. We find that some of the inequality could be attributed to differences in quality of labor, industry composition, and geographical location of provinces. We also demonstrate that interprovincial migration, while driven in part by wage differences across provinces, does not offset these differences. Finally, we find that interprovincial redistribution did not help offset regional inequality during our sample period.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2009-07.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2009-07
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  1. Ravi Kanbur & Xiaobo Zhang, 2004. "Fifty Years of Regional Inequality in China: A Journey Through Central Planning, Reform and Openness," Working Papers 158, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
  2. John Whalley & Shunming Zhang, 2004. "Inequality Change in China and (Hukou) Labour Mobility Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 10683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bound, John & Holzer, Harry J, 2000. "Demand Shifts, Population Adjustments, and Labor Market Outcomes during the 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 20-54, January.
  4. 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.
  5. Patricia Rice & Anthony Venables, 2003. "Equilibrium Regional Disparities: Theory and British Evidence," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6-7), pages 675-686.
  6. William Lavely, 2001. "First Impressions from the 2000 Census of China," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(4), pages 755-769.
  7. Meng, Xin & Gregory, Bob & Wang, Youjuan, 2005. "Poverty, Inequality, and Growth in Urban China, 1986-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 1452, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Christopher Candelaria & Mary Daly & Galina Hale, 2009. "Interprovincial inequality in China," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue apr10.
  9. Jian, Tianlun & Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 1996. "Trends in regional inequality in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-21.
  10. Huber, Peter, 2006. "Regional labor market developments in transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3896, The World Bank.
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