Short-term trends in China’s income inequality and poverty: evidence from a longitudinal household survey

Yu Xie, Xiaobo Zhang, Qi Xu, Chunni Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the past three decades, income inequality in China has increased rapidly relative to both China’s own past and other countries at similar levels of economic development. Using recent longitudinal data from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), this article examines changes in income inequality and poverty prevalence between 2010 and 2012. Surprisingly, we find a modest decline in income inequality as measured by the Gini coefficients in the CFPS data. The urban–rural gap narrowed, with rural families enjoying faster income growth than urban families enjoyed. Income growth was greater for middle-income families than for families with either high or low incomes in 2010. By all measures, poverty was greatly reduced between 2010 and 2012. Two-thirds of families that had been poor in 2010 escaped poverty by 2012.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-251
Number of pages17
JournalChina Economic Journal
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Keywords

  • China family panel studies
  • income inequality
  • poverty
  • trends in China

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