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Are we born equal: a study of intergenerational income mobility in China


Jin, M and Bai, X and Li, KX and Shi, W, Are we born equal: a study of intergenerational income mobility in China, Journal of Demographic Economics, 85 pp. 1-19. ISSN 2054-0892 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Universite catholique de Louvain

DOI: doi:10.1017/dem.2018.19


Studies show that the gain from Chinaís remarkable growth of the past 35 years has not been evenly shared, especially through the intergenerational transmission of income. To address this concern, we use data from China Health and Nutrition Survey and find the intergenerational income elasticity to be 0.466 in 2011, which suggests that sonsí incomes are affected by their fathersí economic statuses to a large extent. A cross-country comparison indicates that the degree of generational income mobility in China is lower than that in many developed nations. Meanwhile, by investigating possible transmission channels, we find that the fathersí investments in the sonsí education and occupation play substantial roles in intergenerational transmission of income. The results not only demonstrate the trends in intergenerational income mobility in China, but also identify the most likely transmission channels, which is of great importance to improving social equality.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Intergenerational income mobility; persistent transitory fluctuation; social equality; transmission mechanisms
Research Division:Economics
Research Group:Applied economics
Research Field:Applied economics not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Macroeconomics
Objective Field:Demography
UTAS Author:Shi, W (Dr Wenming Shi)
ID Code:131274
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Maritime and Logistics Management
Deposited On:2019-03-11
Last Modified:2020-03-02

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