Book Chapter
Getting rich and unequal?

Structural transformation, inequality, and inclusive growth in China

In this chapter, the authors analyse the relationship between China’s structural transformation and the inclusiveness of its economic growth.

In the past four decades, China’s economic activities have shifted from the low-productivity agricultural sector to the high-productivity industrial sector and, more recently, the tertiary sector, with a large portion of the labour force moving from rural to urban areas, from inland to coastal regions, and from the public to the private sectors.

These changes have only happened because of major reforms to the land system, the Hukou system, the ownership of state-owned enterprises, trade policies, and the education system.

Despite its great success in poverty reduction, China has witnessed rapidly increasing income inequality which only began to decline in the late 2000s. We analyse the political economy that determined the inclusiveness of the structural transformation.