Economic Transition, Urbanization, and the Geography of Income Inequality in Rural China

Authors: Jinlong Gao*, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yansui Liu, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Topics: China, Rural Geography, Regional Geography
Keywords: income inequality, urbanization, economic transition, geo-detector, rural China
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Galerie 4, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Regional inequality in China is significantly affected by its transitional process and has long been the subject of academic inquiry. While existing literature on uneven patterns in China focuses primarily on inequalities among regions or between urban and rural areas, with little attention being paid to rural disparities. In this paper, we detect the uneven distribution of regional inequality in rural China through the lens of per capita net income, and diagnose its driving mechanisms with a four-dimension transitional framework. The results suggest that rural inequalities are clustered, and those most unequal provinces tend to be geographically gathered. Stemming from the conceptual framework, the study reveals that the spatio-temporal disparity in rural inequality is deeply embedded in China’s transitional process of marketization, globalization, decentralization and urbanization. The study further unfolds that influences of the quadruple processes are diversified across regions and study periods.

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