Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Distribution of Income and Well-Being in Rural China: A Survey of Panel Data Sets, Studies and New Directions

Chen, Xi and Zhang, Xiaobo (2009): The Distribution of Income and Well-Being in Rural China: A Survey of Panel Data Sets, Studies and New Directions.

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Abstract

This paper reviews the recent literature on inequality and income distribution in rural China utilizing panel datasets. We begin by briefly summarizing and comparing available panel datasets for rural China that can be employed to explore issues on inequality and income distribution, and major data issues that might act as obstacles to research and policy enforcement are then analyzed. The paper then reviews the trend and spatial decompositions of rural income inequality, its major determinants, and its relationship with household welfare. Dimensions other than income inequality, such as income mobility and income polarization, are categorized and reviewed respectively. A recently developed branch of literature on inequality and health is summarized. On the basis of the review, this paper concludes by identifying new research areas with existing panel data sets and a new panel dataset that could shape future research.

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