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Rising Inequality in China
Challenges to a Harmonious Society


Li Shi, Hiroshi Sato, Terry Sicular, Luo Chuliang, Yue Ximing, John Knight, Deng Quheng, Björn Gustafsson, Ding Sai, Yang Juan, Sylvie Démurger, Xu Jing, Song Jin, Samuel L. Myers, Jr
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  • Date Published: May 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107529267

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About the Authors
  • This book, a sequel to Inequality and Public Policy in China (2008), examines the evolution of inequality in China from 2002 to 2007, a period when the new 'harmonious society' development strategy was adopted under Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao. It fills a gap in knowledge about the outcomes of this development strategy for equity and inequality. Drawing on original information collected from the recent two waves of nationwide household surveys conducted by the China Household Income Project, this book provides a detailed overview of recent trends in income inequality and cutting-edge analysis of key factors underlying such trends. Topics covered include inequality in education, changes in homeownership and the distribution of housing wealth, the evolution of the migrant labor market, disparities between public and non-public sectors, patterns of work and non-work, gender, ethnicity, and the impacts of public policies such as reforms in taxation and social welfare programs.

    • Provides a rigorous analysis of recent trends in income inequality and poverty in China
    • The newest report of findings from the ongoing China Household Income Project (CHIP) household surveys started in the late 1980s
    • Of interest to general readers and policy analysts, as well as cutting-edge analysis of interest to specialists
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Inequality - in incomes, in education, in opportunities - is one of the most important issues that China will have to deal with in the coming decades. This work edited by Li, Sato, and Sicular is the definitive book on China's inequality. Based on high-quality data and careful analysis and clear presentation, we see that the challenge of dealing with inequality today and in the coming years is great indeed.' Scott Rozelle, Stanford University

    'China's leaders keep pledging to rein in rising inequality. Yet this timely volume, in which leading economists report the results of the latest round of a series of first-rate China household income surveys (covering the period 2002–7), shows that the gaps between rich and poor continue to widen. Whether it involves access to education, anti-poverty programs, gender gaps in wages, the role of taxation, or trends in the urban-rural income gap, there is rich evidence and thoughtful analysis offered here on the complex challenges China still faces in trying to make its economic development more equitable.' Martin Whyte, Harvard University

    '… the book does exactly what it sets out to do: that is, to thoroughly assess inequality in China across a wide range of dimensions. To this end, [it] is crammed with insights that, if emphasized and pursued further, offer potential starting points for exciting new research.' Dimitar D. Gueorguiev, Pacific Affairs

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107529267
    • length: 530 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.75kg
    • contains: 55 b/w illus. 163 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: rising inequality in China Li Shi, Hiroshi Sato and Terry Sicular
    2. Overview: income inequality and poverty in China, 2002–7 Li Shi, Luo Chuliang and Terry Sicular
    3. Housing ownership, incomes, and inequality in China, 2002–7 Hiroshi Sato, Terry Sicular and Yue Ximing
    4. Educational inequality in China: the intergenerational dimension John Knight, Terry Sicular and Yue Ximing
    5. Inequality and poverty in rural China Luo Chuliang and Terry Sicular
    6. The evolution of the migrant labor market in China, 2002–7 John Knight, Deng Quheng and Li Shi
    7. A new episode of increased urban income inequality in China Deng Quheng and Björn Gustafsson
    8. Unemployment and the rising number of non-workers in urban China: causes and distributional consequences Björn Gustafsson and Ding Sai
    9. Do employees in the public sector still enjoy earnings advantages? Yang Juan, Sylvie Démurger and Li Shi
    10. Redistributive impacts of personal income tax in urban China Xu Jing and Yue Ximing
    11. Changes in the gender wage gap in urban China, 1995–2007 Li Shi and Song Jin
    12. Inter-temporal changes in ethnic urban earnings disparities in China Ding Sai, Li Shi and Samuel L. Myers, Jr
    Appendix I. The 2007 household surveys: sampling methods and data description Luo Chuliang, Li Shi, Terry Sicular, Deng Quheng and Yue Ximing
    Appendix II. The 2002 and 2007 CHIP surveys: sampling, weights, and combining the urban, rural, and migrant samples Song Jin, Terry Sicular and Yue Ximing.

  • Editors

    Shi Li, Beijing Normal University
    Li Shi is China's leading specialist on inequality and poverty in China. He has served as the acting director of the China Institute of Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University since 2011. His numerous published works include Inequality and Public Policy in China with Björn Gustafsson and Terry Sicular (Cambridge, 2008), Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty in Urban China with Hiroshi Sato (2003) and numerous articles in Chinese and Western scholarly journals. He has won many academic prizes, including the Sun Yefang Prize for Economic Science (1994 and 2011) and the Zhang Peigang Prize for Development Economics (2010).

    Hiroshi Sato, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo
    Hiroshi Sato has published many works on topics related to development economics and inequality in China and elsewhere. He is co-editor of Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty in Urban China (2003), author of The Growth of Market Relations in Post-Reform Rural China (2003) and has contributed to numerous works including Inequality and Public Policy in China. He received the IDE Prize for Research on Developing Economies in 2004 for his Japanese book Shotoku Kakusa to Hinkon (Income Inequality and Poverty, 2003).

    Terry Sicular, University of Western Ontario
    Terry Sicular is a leading North American specialist on the Chinese economy and has written extensively on inequality, poverty, the labor market and the rural economy in China. She is a co-editor of and contributor to Inequality and Public Policy in China. Her major works have appeared in the Review of Income and Wealth, the Journal of Development Economics and the Economic Journal. She is a recipient of the Zhang Peigang Prize for Development Economics (2010) and the Sun Yefang Prize for Economic Science (2011).


    Li Shi, Hiroshi Sato, Terry Sicular, Luo Chuliang, Yue Ximing, John Knight, Deng Quheng, Björn Gustafsson, Ding Sai, Yang Juan, Sylvie Démurger, Xu Jing, Song Jin, Samuel L. Myers, Jr

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