IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/4253.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Poverty, inequality, and social disparities during China's economic reform

Author

Listed:
  • Dollar, David

Abstract

China has been the most rapidly growing economy in the world over the past 25 years. This growth has fueled a remarkable increase in per capita income and a decline in the poverty rate from 64 percent at the beginning of reform to 10 percent in 2004. At the same time, however, different kinds of disparities have increased. Income inequality has risen, propelled by the rural-urban income gap and by the growing disparity between highly educated urban professionals and the urban working class. There have also been increases in inequality of health and education outcomes. Some rise in inequality was inevitable as China introduced a market system, but inequality may have been exacerbated rather than mitigated by a number of policy features. Restrictions on rural-urban migration have limited opportunities for the relatively poor rural population. The inability to sell or mortgage rural land has furtherreduced opportunities. China has a uniquely decentralized fiscal system that has relied on local government to fund basic health and education. The result has been that poor villages could not afford to provide good services, and poor households could not afford the high private costs of basic public services. Ironically, the large trade surplus that China has built up in recent years is a further problem, in that it stimulates an urban industrial sector that no longer creates many jobs while restricting the government's ability to increase spending to improve services and address disparities. The government's recent policy shift to encourage migration, fund education and health for poor areas and poor households, and rebalance the economy away from investment and exports toward domestic consumption and public services should help reduce social disparities.

Suggested Citation

  • Dollar, David, 2007. "Poverty, inequality, and social disparities during China's economic reform," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4253, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4253
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2007/06/13/000016406_20070613095018/Rendered/PDF/wps4253.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Inégalités et croissance en Chine : les deux faces d’une même pièce ?
      by Martin Anota in D'un champ l'autre on 2015-04-03 04:03:35

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Pengjun Zhao, 2013. "The Impact of Urban Sprawl on Social Segregation in Beijing and a Limited Role for Spatial Planning," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 104(5), pages 571-587, December.
    2. Edward Whitfield, 2016. "China and the Great Doubling: Racing to the Top or Bottom of Global Labour Standards?," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 7(1), pages 37-45, February.
    3. José Villaverde & Adolfo Maza, 2012. "Chinese per Capita Income Distribution, 1992–2007: A Regional Perspective," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 313-331, December.
    4. Cheong, Tsun Se & Wu, Yanrui, 2014. "The impacts of structural transformation and industrial upgrading on regional inequality in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 339-350.
    5. Song, Yang, 2013. "Rising Chinese regional income inequality: The role of fiscal decentralization," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 294-309.
    6. Luo, Xubei & Zhu, Nong, 2008. "Rising income inequality in China : a race to the top," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4700, The World Bank.
    7. Xiao Luo & Chor-Ching Goh & Nong Zhu, 2014. "Income Growth, Inequality and Poverty Reduction: A Case Study of Eight Provinces in China," CIRANO Working Papers 2014s-03, CIRANO.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Population Policies; Rural Poverty Reduction; Achieving Shared Growth; Inequality; Health Monitoring&Evaluation;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4253. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.