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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- China; elderly; income inequality; market reforms; retirement