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Revolution and Family in Rural China: Influence of Family Background on Current Family Wealth

Hiroshi Sato

Hitotsubashi University

Li Shi

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) - Institute of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

IZA Working Paper No. 3223

This paper examines the influence of family human capital on offspring's economic status in post reform rural China by concentrating on the father-son relationship. We focus on two indicators of family background: family class origin (jiating chengfen) and occupational experience. The results of a family wealth function for 2002 suggest that, after controlling for other individual and family characteristics, both measures of family background have a significant influence on family wealth. First, parental experience of a nonagricultural family business before collectivization has a positive and statistically significant effect on current family wealth. Second, the offspring of landlord/rich peasant and middle peasant families are more likely to have higher family wealth than poor and lower-middle peasant families. We also find cohort and regional differences in the influence of family background. Our findings suggest that the strength and robustness of the Chinese rural family as a cultural institution preserves family human capital across radical institutional changes.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

Keywords: family human capital, family background, intergenerational correlation, distribution of wealth

JEL Classification: D31, J24, N35, O15

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Date posted: May 23, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Sato, Hiroshi and Shi, Li, Revolution and Family in Rural China: Influence of Family Background on Current Family Wealth. , Vol. , pp. -, . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1136385 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Contact Information

Hiroshi Sato (Contact Author)
Hitotsubashi University ( email )
Naka 2-1
Kunitachi, Tokyo 186-8601
HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.hit-u.ac.jp/~satohrs/
Li Shi
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) - Institute of Economics ( email )
2 Yuetan Beixiaojie
+86 1 068032473 (Fax)
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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