What Lies behind Rising Earnings Inequality in Urban China? Regression-based Decompositions
Coupled with advances in enterprise reform and changes in the wage structure, earnings inequality in urban China has been increasing, and this has contributed significantly to rising income inequality. Using urban household survey data from the 1988, 1995 and 2002 waves of the China Household Income Project, in this paper, we decompose earnings inequality in urban China by using the regression-based decomposition methods developed by Fields (1998), Morduch and Sicular (2002) and Shorrocks (1999). The decomposition results indicate that the effects of gender and membership of the Communist Party of China on earnings inequality have changed little. While work experience had a reduced effect on earnings inequality, the effects of education and occupation have increased. The contributions of ownership status and industry to earnings inequality have increased. Regional effects have been the largest recent contributor to earnings inequality.
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