Ownership Restructuring, Marketization and Wealth Inequality in Urban China: 1995 and 2002

26 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2012

See all articles by Xiaobin He

Xiaobin He

Tsinghua University - School of Social Sciences

Zhuo Huang

National School of Development, Peking University

Date Written: September‐October 2012

Abstract

This paper proposes a property transformation perspective to examine the mechanisms of wealth accumulation and wealth inequality creation during China's post‐1978 transformation. It examines how enterprise ownership restructuring, marketization and state politics have resulted in greater wealth inequality between cadres and ordinary workers, between public sectors/organizations and private sectors/organizations. Mainly drawing on data from the Chinese Household Income Project conducted in 1995 and 2002, we find that the property transformation process has created greater wealth disparity among different occupational groups and among those working in different work organizations since the mid‐1990s. However, it is inconclusive whether non‐housing wealth or total household wealth are increasing at the same pace across different occupations and work organizations with the growing market penetration and the spread of privatization.

Keywords: marketization, ownership restructuring, property transformation, wealth inequality

JEL Classification: D31, D63, P36

Suggested Citation

He, Xiaobin and Huang, Zhuo, Ownership Restructuring, Marketization and Wealth Inequality in Urban China: 1995 and 2002 (September‐October 2012). China & World Economy, Vol. 20, Issue 5, pp. 37-62, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2155515 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-124X.2012.01301.x

Xiaobin He (Contact Author)

Tsinghua University - School of Social Sciences

Beijing, 100084
China

Zhuo Huang

National School of Development, Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

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