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Wing Chan (UCL)

16 February 2017 @ 14:00


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16 February 2017
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“Dynamics of income inequality in China in a comparative perspective”


In this paper, we use recent, high quality and nationally representative household panel data to explore the dynamics of income inequality and mobility in China, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Consistent with previous research, we report very high level of income inequality in China. Indeed, in the cross-section, net household income is significantly more unequally distributed in China than in the US, let alone European countries. We also show that income mobility is also significantly higher in China than in the other three countries. By decomposing income into permanent and transitory components, we show that not only China has a higher level of permanent income mobility, it also has higher level of income volatility. We then explore the social processes that might underline such cross-national differences.