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

Author

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  • Sato, Hiroshi

    (Hitotsubashi University)

  • Li, Shi

    (Beijing Normal University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sato, Hiroshi & Li, Shi, 2007. "Revolution and Family in Rural China: Influence of Family Background on Current Family Wealth," IZA Discussion Papers 3223, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3223
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shun Wang, 2017. "The Long-Term Consequences of Family Class Origins in Urban China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 134(1), pages 323-337, October.
    2. Zhao Chen & Ming Lu & Hiroshi Sato, 2009. "Social Networks and Labor Market Entry Barriers: Understanding Inter-industrial Wage Differentials in Urban China," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-084, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    family human capital; family background; intergenerational correlation; distribution of wealth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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