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Revolution and Family in Rural China: Influence of Family Background on Current Family Wealth

  • Sato, Hiroshi

    ()

    (Hitotsubashi University)

  • Li, Shi

    ()

    (Beijing Normal University)

This paper examines the influence of family human capital on offspring’s economic status in post reform rural China by concentrating on the father-son relationship. We focus on two indicators of family background: family class origin (jiating chengfen) and occupational experience. The results of a family wealth function for 2002 suggest that, after controlling for other individual and family characteristics, both measures of family background have a significant influence on family wealth. First, parental experience of a nonagricultural family business before collectivization has a positive and statistically significant effect on current family wealth. Second, the offspring of landlord/rich peasant and middle peasant families are more likely to have higher family wealth than poor and lower-middle peasant families. We also find cohort and regional differences in the influence of family background. Our findings suggest that the strength and robustness of the Chinese rural family as a cultural institution preserves family human capital across radical institutional changes.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3223.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3223
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  1. Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia Robb, 2003. "Families, Human Capital, and Small Business: Evidence from the Characteristics of Business Owners Survey," Working Papers 871, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  2. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
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  5. Fang,H. & Norman,P., 2001. "Government-mandated discriminatory policies," Working papers 12, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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  11. Harding, David J. & Jencks, Christopher & Lopoo, Leonard M. & Mayer, Susan E., 2003. "The Changing Effect of Family Background on the Incomes of American Adults," Working Paper Series rwp03-045, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  12. Thomas Dunn & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1996. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment:Evidence from Intergenerational Links," NBER Working Papers 5622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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