Volume 28, 2011

China's Modenization I

Ma Rong
Pages 101-129

Income Gaps in Economic Development
Differences among Regions, Occupational Groups and Ethnic Groups

The income gap in Chinese society has increased significantly in recent years. This disparity can be confirmed by the critical level of China’s current Gini coefficient. In response, que­stions concerning social stratification and mobility in China, and how to improve China’s income distribution have become key discussions among Chinese sociologists. The income gap, a result of economic development, can be examined via discussions of income disparity between different regions, occupational groups and ethnic groups. Previous analyses based on official government and academic statistical data have tended to focus primarily on regional and occupational differences in relation to income disparity. However, the income gap exhibited between different ethnic groups is in effect directly linked to inconsistencies in income acquisition and employment opportunities. Furthermore, this link is intimately related to China’s national policies in ethnic affairs.