Knowing One’s Lot in Life Versus Climbing the Social Ladder: The Formation of Redistributive Preferences in Urban China
- 244 Downloads
This paper examines, how individual preferences for redistribution in general and redistribution to improve access to education, improve social protection for the poor, reduce income inequality and reduce unemployment depend on beliefs about what determines one’s lot in life and self-assessed prospects for climbing the social ladder in urban China. We find that beliefs about what determine one’s lot in life and subjective perceptions of future mobility are correlated with preferences for redistribution. We find that those who believe one’s lot in life is outside their control are generally more likely to favour redistribution. We show that this result is consistent with the existence of an altruism effect among the rich and entitlement effect among the poor. These findings are robust to the inclusion of control variables for the respondent’s personal characteristics and the location in which he or she lives.
KeywordsChina Equal opportunities Redistribution Mobility
- Armitage, C. (2003). China’s ‘iron rice bowl’ gets the chop. The Australian (Sydney), 13 January, p. 12.Google Scholar
- China Daily. (2003). Helping migrants belong in cities. China Daily, November 28.Google Scholar
- Corneo, G. (2001). Inequality and the state: Comparing US and German preferences. Annales d’Economie et de Statistique, 63–64, 283–296.Google Scholar
- Fehr, E., & Schmidt, K. (2003). Theories of fairness and reciprocity—evidence and economic applications. In M. Dewatripont, L. P. Hansen, & S. J. Turnovsky (Eds.), Advances in economics and econometrics: Theory and applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Forney, M. (2003). Worker’s wasteland. Time Magazine Asia, 13(December), 13.Google Scholar
- Groves, R. M. (1977). An experimental comparison of national telephone and personal interview surveys. In Proceedings of the Section on Social Statistics: American Statistical Association (pp. 232–241). Washington, DC: American Statistical Association.Google Scholar
- Gustafsson, B., & Li, S. (2001). A more unequal China? Aspects of inequality in the distribution of income. In C. Riskin, C. Zhao, & S. Li (Eds.), China’s retreat from equality: Income distribution and economic transition. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
- King, G., & Zeng, L. (1999a). Logistic regression in rare events data. Department of Government, Harvard University, available from http://gking.harvard.edu. Accessed 15 Dec 2007.
- King, G., & Zeng, L. (1999b). Estimating absolute, relative, and attributable risks in case-control studies. Department of Government, Harvard University, available from http://gking.harvard.edu. Accessed 15 Dec 2007.
- National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). (2003). China statistical yearbook 2003. Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
- National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). (2004a). China statistical yearbook 2004. Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
- National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). (2004b). China population statistical yearbook 2004. Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
- National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). (2005a). China statistical yearbook 2005. Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
- National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). (2005b). Communiqué of the first national economic censor in 2004 (6 December 2005) (Chinese) [online, accessed July 2006], Available from http://www.stats,gov.cn/zgjjpc/cgfb/t20051206_402294807.htm.
- National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). (2007). China statistical yearbook 2007. Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
- People’s Daily. (2002). China to focus on tax evasion by the wealthy. People’s Daily, August 23.Google Scholar
- Piketty, T., & Qian, N. (2006). Income inequality and progressive income taxation in China and India, 1986–2010. CEPR Discussion Paper, No. 5703.Google Scholar
- Reuters. (2003). China ousts US as top target for FDI in 2002. London: Reuters.Google Scholar
- Tsai, K. S. (2002). Back-alley banking: Private entrepreneurs in China. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- World Bank. (1997). Sharing rising income disparities in China. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Wu, Z. (2006). Ruhe lijie shehui gongzheng [“How to Understand Social Justice”]. http://theory.people.com.cn/GB/40764/68330/68333/68334/4638343.html. Accessed 15 Dec 2007.
- Zhang, H., Ming, L., & Liang, C. (2001). Blue book of private enterprises. Beijing: Social Science Documentation Publishing House. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
- Zhu, C. J. (1997). Human resource development in China during the transition to a new economic system. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 25, 19–44.Google Scholar