Changes in the Distribution of Wealth in China, 1995–2002

Shi Li and Renwei Zhao

in Personal Wealth from a Global Perspective

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548880
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720765 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

Changes in the Distribution of Wealth in China, 1995–2002

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This study investigates some major changes in the wealth distribution in China using the data from two national household surveys conducted in 1995 and 2002. The surveys collected rich information on household wealth and its components, enabling a detailed analysis of changes in wealth distribution among Chinese households. This analysis indicates that the wealth distribution in China as a whole became much more unequal in 2002 than it was in 1995. The housing reform, in which public apartments were sold to urban households at extremely low prices, has accelerated the accumulation of wealth among urban households, on the one hand, and widened the wealth gap between urban and rural areas, on the other.

Keywords: China; wealth; income; distribution; inequality; households

Chapter.  7921 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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