1st Edition

Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty in Urban China

Edited By Hiroshi Sato, Shi Li Copyright 2006
    352 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    352 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Although the Chinese economy is growing at a very high rate, there are massive social dislocations arising as a result of economic restructuring. Though the scale of the problem is huge, very few studies have examined the changes in income inequality in the late 1990s due to a lack of data on household incomes.

    Based on extensive original research, this book redresses this imbalance, examining the issue of unemployment and the problems it has brought for the people of China. Investigating the market outcomes in post-reform urban China, the book focuses on the relationships between unemployment, inequality, and poverty. In addition, the authors provide an analysis on the emerging urban labour market and its stratified structure, job mobility, profit sharing, and the role of social capital. Empirical analysis is supported by rich data from nationally representative urban household and rural migrant surveys, providing the latest picture of the widening inequality in Chinese urban society.

    Title: Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty in Urban China


    LI, Shi

    Professor, Institute of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing


    SATO, Hiroshi

    Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo


    Table of Contents

    List of Figures

    List of Tables



    List of contributors

    Chapter 1. Introduction

    Li Shi and Hiroshi Sato

    Part I. Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty

    Chapter 2. Labor Retrenchment in China: Determinants and Consequences

    Simon Appleton, John Knight, Lina Song and Qingjie Xia

    Chapter 3. Unemployment, Poverty and Income Disparity in Urban China

    Jinjun Xue and Wei Zhong

    Chapter 4. Economic Restructuring and Income Inequality in Urban China

    Xin Meng

    Chapter 5. Unemployment, Consumption Smoothing, and Precautionary Saving in Urban China

    Xin Meng

    Chapter 6. The Decline of In-kind Wage Payments in Urban China

    Li Shi and Zhao Yaohui

    Chapter 7. Rising Poverty and Its Causes in Urban China

    Li Shi

    Chapter 8. Can a Subjective Poverty Line be Applied to Urban China?

    Bjorn Gustafsson, Li Shi, and Hiroshi Sato

    Part II. The Emerging Labour Market

    Chapter 9. From "Work Unit Socialism" to a Stratified Labour Market

    Hiroshi Sato

    Chapter 10. Contrasting paradigms: Segmentation and Competitiveness in the Formation of the Chinese Labour Market

    Simon Appleton, John Knight, Lina Song and Qingjie Xia

    Chapter 11. Job Mobility of Residents and Migrants in Urban China

    John Knight and Linda Yueh

    Chapter 12. How Does Firm Profitability Affect Wages in Urban China?

    John Knight and Li Shi

    Chapter 13. An Investment Model of Social Capital with Empirical Application to Women’s Labour Market Outcomes in Urban China

    Linda Yueh



    LI Shi is Professor of Economics at the School of Economics and Business, Beijing Normal University. He has done research as a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford and Göteborg University, has taught as a professor at Hitotsubashi University and is the co-editor of China’s Retreat from Equality (M. E. Sharpe, 2001).

    Hiroshi SATO is Professor of Chinese Economy and Society at the Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo. He is the author of The Growth of Market Relations in Post-Reform Rural China (Routledge, 2003).

    'Based on a series of large-scale household surveys in a number of Chinese cities, this volume provides timely and informative studies on the issues of unemployment, inequality, poverty and their interrelationships... a collection of good quality empirical studies... this volume presents a rich and detailed profile of the urban poor in China.' - Shenjing He, China Information, vol. XXI, no. 3, 2007

    'This book broadens our understanding of the functioning of the Chinese urban labour market and new urban poverty in China. Scholars and policy makers will certainly appreciate the authors' hard work' - Mark Wang, University of Melbourne, IDPR, 2009