In search of the elusive Chinese urban middle class: An exploratory analysis
This paper aims to identify and characterize the Chinese urban middle class. We propose to improve the description of the middle class using an innovative approach combining an economic approach (based on income) and a sociological approach (based on education and occupation). The empirical investigations conducted as part of this research are based on the China Health and Nutrition Survey (2009). First, we define the middle income class as households with an annual per capita income between 10,000 yuan and the 95th percentile. On this basis, approximately fifty percent of urban households may be said to belong to the middle class. Second, we use information on employment and education to characterize the heterogeneity of the middle income class. Using clustering methods, we identify four groups: (i) the elderly and the inactive middle class, mainly composed of pensioners; (ii) the old middle class, composed of self-employed workers; (iii) the marginal middle class, composed of skilled and unskilled workers; and (iv) the new middle class, composed of highly educated wage earners in the public sector. We show that the different groups have distinctive features based on variables such as housing and household appliances and equipment.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +33 (0)126.96.36.199.75
Fax: +33 (0)188.8.131.52.47
Web page: http://gretha.u-bordeaux4.fr/Email:
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2007.
"China's (uneven) progress against poverty,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 1-42, January.
- Ravallion, Martin, 2010.
"The Developing World's Bulging (but Vulnerable) Middle Class,"
Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 445-454, April.
- Ravallion, Martin, 2009. "The Developing World's Bulging (but Vulnerable) "Middle Class"," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4816, The World Bank.
- Jones-Smith, Jessica C. & Popkin, Barry M., 2010. "Understanding community context and adult health changes in China: Development of an urbanicity scale," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(8), pages 1436-1446, October.
- Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989.
"Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 104(3), pages 537-64, August.
- Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1988. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," NBER Working Papers 2709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peichl, Andreas & Schaefer, Thilo & Scheicher, Christoph, 2008.
"Measuring Richness and Poverty: A Micro Data Application to Europe and Germany,"
IZA Discussion Papers
3790, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Andreas Peichl & Thilo Schaefer & Christoph Scheicher, 2010. "Measuring Richness And Poverty: A Micro Data Application To Europe And Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(3), pages 597-619, 09.
- Coleman, Richard P, 1983. " The Continuing Significance of Social Class to Marketing," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 265-80, December.
- Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996.
"Income distribution, political instability, and investment,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
- Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1993. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 4486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mu, Ren & Du, Yang, 2012. "Pension Coverage for Parents and Educational Investment in Children: Evidence from Urban China," IZA Discussion Papers 6797, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Milanovic, Branko & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2001.
"Decomposing world income distribution : does the world have a middle class ?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2562, The World Bank.
- Milanovic, Branko & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Decomposing World Income Distribution: Does the World Have a Middle Class?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(2), pages 155-78, June.
- Walter Sosa Escudero & Sergio Petralia, 2010. "“I Can Hear the Grass Grow”: The Anatomy of Distributive Changes in Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0106, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
- Francesca Castellani & Gwenn Parent, 2011. "Being “Middle-Class” in Latin America," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 305, OECD Publishing.
- Easterly, William, 2000.
"the middle class consensus and economic development,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2346, The World Bank.
- Easterly, William, 2001. " The Middle Class Consensus and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 317-35, December.
- Loayza, Norman & Rigolini, Jamele & Llorente, Gonzalo, 2012.
"Do middle classes bring institutional reforms ?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
6015, The World Bank.
- Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Céline Bonnefond & Matthieu Clément, 2012.
"An analysis of income polarisation in rural and urban China,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 15-37, June.
- Céline BONNEFOND (GREThA, CNRS, UMR5113) & Matthieu CLEMENT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR5113), 2011. "An analysis of income polarization in rural and urban China," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-26, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2008.
"What Is Middle Class about the Middle Classes around the World?,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 3-28, Spring.
- Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther, 2007. "What is Middle Class about the Middle Classes Around the World?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6613, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Esther Duflo & Abhijit Banerjee, 2008. "What is Middle Class About the Middle Classes Around the World?," Working Papers id:1363, eSocialSciences.
- Kiminori Matsuyama, 2002.
"The Rise of Mass Consumption Societies,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1035-1070, October.
- Kiminori Matsuyama, 1999. "The Rise of Mass Consumption Societies," Discussion Papers 1289, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Kiminori Matsuyama, 2000. "The Rise of Mass Consumption Societies," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 23, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Kiminori Matsuyama, 2000. "The rise of mass consumption societies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6656, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Liu, Zhiqiang, 2005. "Institution and inequality: the hukou system in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 133-157, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2013-19. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Emmanuel Petit)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.