Income of the Urban Elderly in Postreform China: Political Capital, Human Capital, and the State

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29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using data from a 1992 nationally representative survey of the elderly in urban China, this study examines the impact of political and economic reforms on income stratification. Drawing upon the existing literature on the differential impact of market reforms in socialist states, we develop and test three hypotheses: one stressing the increasing importance of returns to human capital, one stressing the ability of communist elite to convert their political capital into new sources of power in emerging markets, and one stressing the continued importance of redistributive activities of the party-state. Our results support, to varying degrees, all three hypotheses. We interpret this as a reflection of the complex nature of stratification mechanisms during Chinese economic reforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Science Research
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • China; elderly; income inequality; market reforms; retirement

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