Fifty Years of Regional Inequality in China: A Journey Through Central Planning, Reform, and Openness

20 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2016

See all articles by Ravi Kanbur

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Xiaobo Zhang

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

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Date Written: February 2005

Abstract

The paper constructs and analyzes a long‐run time series for regional inequality in China from the Communist Revolution to the present. There have been three peaks of inequality in the last fifty years, coinciding with the Great Famine of the late 1950s, the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s, and finally the period of openness and global integration in the late 1990s. Econometric analysis establishes that regional inequality is explained in the different phases by three key policy variables—the ratio of heavy industry to gross output value, the degree of decentralization, and the degree of openness.

Suggested Citation

Kanbur, Ravi and Zhang, Xiaobo, Fifty Years of Regional Inequality in China: A Journey Through Central Planning, Reform, and Openness (February 2005). Review of Development Economics, Vol. 9, Issue 1, pp. 87-106, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2724308 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9361.2005.00265.x

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Xiaobo Zhang

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

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