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UNU-WIDER Changes in the Distribution of Wealth in China 1995-2002

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A teenager wears torn rubber boots in a muddy local market in Bac Ha, Viet Nam. As of 2005 figures, half the world population—more than 3 billion people–is estimated to live on less than USD 2.50 a day. Bac Ha, Viet Nam. UN Photo/Kibae Park.

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Changes in the Distribution of Wealth in China 1995-2002

This paper investigates some major changes in the wealth distribution in China using the data from two national household surveys conducted in 1995 and 2002. The surveys collected rich information on household wealth and its components, enabling a detailed analysis of changes in wealth distribution among Chinese households. Our analysis indicates that the wealth distribution in China as a whole became much more unequal in 2002 than it was in 1995. The housing reform, in which public apartments were sold to urban households at extremely low prices, has accelerated the accumulation of wealth among urban households on the one hand, and widened the wealth gap between urban and rural areas on the other.
Publisher:
UNU-WIDER
Series:
WIDER Research Paper
Volume:
2007/03
Title:
Changes in the Distribution of Wealth in China 1995-2002
Authors:
Shi Li and Renwei Zhao
Publication date:
January 2007
ISSN Web:
1810-2611
ISBN Web:
9291909424
ISBN 13 Web:
9789291909421
Copyright holder:
© UNU-WIDER
Copyright year:
2007
Keywords:
China, wealth, income, distribution, inequality, households
JEL:
D3, E2
Project:
Personal Assets from a Global Perspective
Sponsor:
The governments of Denmark (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Norway (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency-Sida) and the United Kingdom (Department for International Development).
Format:
online

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