Inequality of Opportunity and Income Inequality in Nine Chinese Provinces, 1989-2006
While there is a large and growing body of research describing and analyzing changes in the Chinese income distribution, researchers have paid considerable less attention to inequality of opportunity. The aim of this paper is to contribute to filling this gap in the literature. The two main questions addressed empirically for the first time in a Chinese context are: To what extent are individuals’ incomes and individual income differences due to factors beyond the individual’s control (in Roemer’s terminology “circumstances”) and to what extent are they due to outcomes of the individual’s own choices (“effort”). What is the relationship between income inequality and inequality of opportunity? For this purpose we use data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey collected from nine provinces during the period 1989 to 2006. The CHNS has detailed information about incomes and other factors enabling us to construct a host of circumstance and effort variables for the offspring. We find that China has a substantial degree of inequality of opportunity. Parental income and parents’ type of employer explain about two thirds of the total inequality of opportunity. Notably, parental education plays only a minor role implying that parental connections remain important. The results show that the increase in income inequality during the period under study largely mirrors the increase in inequality of opportunity. Thus, increased income inequality does not reflect changes in effort variables, or expressed differently, increased income inequality has not been accompanied by a decrease in inequality of opportunity
|Date of creation:||01 Jan 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark|
Phone: +45 89 486396
Fax: +45 8615 5175
Web page: http://www.asb.dk/departments/nat.aspx
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.:
- Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
- 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.
- Roemer,John E., 2006.
"Democracy, Education, and Equality,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521846653, june. pag.
- Nico Heerink & Marijke Kuiper & Xiaoping Shi, 2006.
"China's New Rural Income Support Policy: Impacts on Grain Production and Rural Income Inequality,"
China & World Economy,
Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 14(6), pages 58-69.
- Heerink, Nico & Kuiper, Marijke H. & Xiaoping, Shi, 2006. "China's New Rural Income Support Policy: Impact on Grain Production and Rural Income Inequality," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25625, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
- François Bourguignon & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2003.
"Inequality of Outcomes and Inequality of Opportunities in Brazil,"
William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series
2003-630, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menendez, 2003. "Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunities in Brazil," Textos para discussão 478, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
- Fran?s Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menendez, 2003. "Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunities in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3174, The World Bank.
- François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menendez, 2003. "Inequality of Outcomes and Inequality of Opportunities in Brasil," DELTA Working Papers 2003-24, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Jo Blanden & Alissa Goodman & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2002.
"Changes in intergenerational mobility in Britain,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
19507, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Jo Blanden & Alissa Goodman & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Changes in Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," CEE Discussion Papers 0026, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
- Jo Blanden & Alissa Goodman & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Changes in Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0517, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Blanden, Jo & Alissa Goodman & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Changes in Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 31, Royal Economic Society.
- Denis Cogneau & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps, 2008. "Inequality of Opportunity for Income in Five Countries of Africa," Working Papers DT/2008/04, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
- Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2005.
"Fairness and Redistribution,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 960-980, September.
- Angeletos, George-Marios & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," Scholarly Articles 4553009, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2004. "Fairness and Redistribution," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000283, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2004. "Fairness and Redistribution," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000306, www.najecon.org.
- Fan, Shenggen & Zhang, Linxiu & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2002. "Growth, inequality, and poverty in rural China: the role of public investments," Research reports 125, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006.
"Belief in Just World and Redistributive Politics,"
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 699-746.
- Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," Papers 08-15-2005a, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
- Jean Tirole & Roland Benabou, 2004. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," 2004 Meeting Papers 15, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 4952, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," NBER Working Papers 11208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
- Chen, Yuanyuan & Feng, Shuaizhang, 2009. "Parental Education and Wages: Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 4218, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011.
"The Measurement Of Inequality Of Opportunity: Theory And An Application To Latin America,"
Review of Income and Wealth,
International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 622-657, December.
- Ferreira , Francisco H. G. & Gignoux, Jeremie, 2008. "The measurement of inequality of opportunity : theory and an application to Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4659, The World Bank.
- Knight, John B & Song, Lina, 1991.
"The Determinants of Urban Income Inequality in China,"
Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics,
Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(2), pages 123-54, May.
- Knight, J. & Lina, S., 1990. "The Determinants Of Urban Income Inequality In China," Economics Series Working Papers 9991, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- François Bourguignon & Francisco Ferreira & Michael Walton, 2007.
"Equity, efficiency and inequality traps: A research agenda,"
- François Bourguignon & Francisco Ferreira & Michael Walton, 2007. "Equity, efficiency and inequality traps: A research agenda," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 235-256, August.
- Bourguignon, Francois & Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Walton, Michael, 2006. "Equity, Efficient and Inequality Traps: A Research Agenda," Working Paper Series rwp06-025, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- repec:dau:papers:123456789/4320 is not listed on IDEAS
- Gustafsson, Bjorn & Shi, Li, 2002. "Income inequality within and across counties in rural China 1988 and 1995," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 179-204, October.
- Javier Núñez & Andrea Tartakowsky, 2007. "Inequality of outcomes vs. inequality of opportunities in a developing country. An exploratory analysis for Chile," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 34(2 Year 20), pages 185-202, December.
- Bliss, C., 1993. "External trade and income distribution : Francois Bourguignon and Christian Morrison, (OECD, Paris, 1989) pp. 304, FF190," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 207-209, June.
- Shujie Yao, 1999. "On the decomposition of Gini coefficients by population class and income source: a spreadsheet approach and application," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(10), pages 1249-1264.
- Luo, Xubei & Zhu, Nong, 2008. "Rising income inequality in China : a race to the top," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4700, The World Bank.
- Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
- Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito, 2005. "Regional Disparities and Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 1874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Denis Cogneau & Thomas Bossuroy & Philippe De Vreyer & Charlotte Guénard & Victor Hiller & Phillippe Leite & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps & Laure Pasquier-Doumer & Constance Torelli, 2006. "Inequalities and equity in Africa," Working Papers DT/2006/11, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
- Lu, Ding, 2002. "Rural-urban income disparity: impact of growth, allocative efficiency, and local growth welfare," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 419-429, December.
- Shujie Yao & Jirui Liu, 1996. "Decomposition of Gini coefficients by class: a new approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 115-119.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2009_018. 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: (Helle Vinbaek Stenholt)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.