Mapping Public Concerns About Class Immobility in China
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Public concerns about class immobility represent awareness of social closure and economic inequality on the part of members of the public. We provide the first representative portrait and empirical analysis of the growing immobility concerns among the Chinese. Using online query volume data from Baidu, the most widely used search engine in China, we extract the overall index of searching immobility-related words to measure the provincial level of concerns about immobility. We found that concerns about immobility rose dramatically from around 2008 and slightly decreased from 2012 and that all provinces show similar tendencies. We fit dynamic panel models using the Generalized Method of Moments estimator and found that the level of public concerns about class immobility in a province is profoundly affected by a series of the province’s political and socioeconomic conditions.
KeywordsClass immobility Class mobility Social class Big data China
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