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

45 Pages Posted: 23 May 2008  

Hiroshi Sato

Hitotsubashi University

Li Shi

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

Abstract

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.

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

JEL Classification: D31, J24, N35, O15

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1136385 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Hiroshi Sato (Contact Author)

Hitotsubashi University ( email )

Naka 2-1
Kunitachi, Tokyo 186-8601
Japan

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
Beijing
+86 1 068032473 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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