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A Tale of Transition; An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in Urban China, 1986–2009

Listed author(s):
  • Haiyan Ding
  • Hui He
Registered author(s):

This paper is the first comprehensive empirical study of earnings, income, and consumption inequality in urban China from 1986 to 2009, using unique micro-level data from the Urban Household Survey (UHS). The paper documents a drastic increase in economic inequality for the sample period. The paper finds that consumption inequality closely tracks income inequality, both over time and over the life cycle. The paper believes that the main driver of this co-movement could be a dramatic increase in noninsurable idiosyncratic permanent income shocks after the early 1990s, associated with the economic transition in urban China.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 16/239.

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Length: 52
Date of creation: 12 Dec 2016
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:16/239
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  1. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Zheng (Michael) Song, 2015. "Grasp the Large, Let Go of the Small: The Transformation of the State Sector in China," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 50(1 (Spring), pages 295-366.
  2. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Zheng (Michael) Song, 2015. "Grasp the Large, Let Go of the Small: The Transformation of the State Sector in China," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 295-366.
  3. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Klara Sabirianova Peter & Dmitriy Stolyarov, 2010. "Inequality and Volatility Moderation in Russia: Evidence from Micro-Level Panel Data on Consumption and Income," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 209-237, January.
  4. Appleton, Simon & Knight, John & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2002. "Labor retrenchment in China: Determinants and consequences," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 252-275.
  5. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
  6. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
  7. Yu Zheng & Raul Santaeulalia, 2016. "The Price of Growth: Consumption Insurance in China 1989-2009," 2016 Meeting Papers 826, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Jeremy Lise & Nao Sudo & Michio Suzuki & Ken Yamada & Tomoaki Yamada, 2014. "Wage, Income and Consumption Inequality in Japan, 1981-2008: from Boom to Lost Decades," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 582-612, October.
  9. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Zheng (Michael) Song, 2015. "Grasp the Large, Let Go of the Small: The Transformation of the State Sector in China," NBER Working Papers 21006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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