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Unequal Growth: Long Term Trends in Household Income and Poverty in Urban China

Chapter in book
Authors Björn Gustafsson
Ding Sai
Published in Changing Trends in China's Inequality. Evidence, Analysis, and Prospects
Pages 241-266
ISBN 9780190077938
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Social Work
Pages 241-266
Language en
Links https://global.oup.com/academic/pro...
Keywords Kina, Inkomster, Inkomstolikhet, Fattigdom
Subject categories Economics

Abstract

This chapter investigates how household income, income inequality, and poverty among urban residents in China have developed since 1988, with an emphasis on the period from 2007 to 2013. We use data from the China Household Income Project (CHIP) to show that during aperiod when many countries in the West were experiencing stagnating or falling incomes, household incomes in urban China were growing by an average of 7 percent per annum. However, unlike during previous periods, earnings were growing by not more than 3 percent per annum, but pensions and imputed rents of owner-occupied housing were growing more rapidly.The trend whereby fewer persons in urban China have incomes that are lower than the poverty line, expressed as the constant purchasing power, continued between 2007 and 2013. We also show that income growth from 2007 to 2013 was slower in the lower part of the income distribution and thus the trend of increased income inequality in urban China continued. This also applied to the number of people falling below the relative poverty line.

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