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Why are household incomes more unequally distributed in China than in Russia?

Citation

Gustafsson, Björn; Shi, Li; & Nivorozhkina, Ludmila (2011). Why are household incomes more unequally distributed in China than in Russia?. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 35(5), 897-920.

Abstract

Harmonised microdata show a Gini coefficient for per capita total income of 45.3% in China (2002) and 33.6% in Russia (2003). A much larger urban to rural income gap in combination with a much smaller proportion of people living in urban areas in China are important reasons for this cross-country difference in inequality. Wage is a more non-equalising income source in China than in Russia. While Russian public transfers reduce income inequality, Chinese public transfers increase income inequality. Cross-country differences in the process of transition are also found to be significant. A relatively large non-agriculture self-employment sector is non-equalising in rural China, but is also narrowing the urban to rural income gap. In contrast to the many cross-country differences revealed, we report income inequality among urban residents in China and in urban Russia to be very similar.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cje/beq052

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2011

Journal Title

Cambridge Journal of Economics

Author(s)

Gustafsson, Björn
Shi, Li
Nivorozhkina, Ludmila