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Fifty Years of Regional Inequality in China: A Journey through Central Planning, Reform, and Openness

  • Kanbur, Ravi
  • Zhang, Xiaobo

This paper constructs and analyses a long run time series for regional inequality in China from the Communist Revolution to the present. There have been three peaks of inequality in the last fifty years, coinciding with the Great Famine of the late 1950s, the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s, and finally the period of openness and global integration in the late 1990s. Econometric analysis establishes that regional inequality is explained in the different phases by three key policy variables—the ratio of heavy industry to gross output value, the degree of decentralization, and the degree of openness.

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File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/rp2004/rp2004-50.pdf
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Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number UNU-WIDER Research Paper RP2004/50.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2004-50
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  25. Dennis Tao Yang, 1999. "Urban-Biased Policies and Rising Income Inequality in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 306-310, May.
  26. Fan, Shenggen & Zhang, Linxiu & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2000. "Growth and poverty in rural China: the role of public investments," EPTD discussion papers 66, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  27. Rozelle Scott, 1994. "Rural Industrialization and Increasing Inequality: Emerging Patterns in China's Reforming Economy," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 362-391, December.
  28. Aaberge, Rolf & Li, Xuezeng, 1997. "The Trend in Urban Income Inequality in Two Chinese Provinces, 1986-90," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(3), pages 335-55, September.
  29. Khan, Azizur Rahman & Riskin, Carl, 2001. "Inequality and Poverty in China in the Age of Globalization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195136494, March.
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