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Social inequalities in China: which reality?

Abstract : Given the social distortions born from the movement of reforms launched at the end of the 1970's in China, the present thesis investigates evolution regarding three major topics: labour market, the level of education and the health status. Using the CHNS database, I first consider returns to human capital in China, given the requirements of a more competitive economic environment in terms of productivity. I highlight increasing returns to education and nutrition in China since 1991, underlining the impact of the reforms on the way wages are now fixed. The conclusion appears positive for a rise in productivity and consequently for future growth. However, if individuals do not have equal access to education and to a good health, a higher payment of these factors can lead to deterioration in terms of inequalities. I subsequently focus on the evolution of the level of education and of the health status since the movement of reforms through two channels: potential transmission of the parents' social status to their children, i.e. social mobility; and inequalities in wellbeing in three social dimensions which are income, education and health. Using mobility matrices as well as econometric strategies, I demonstrate a comparably high level of mobility in education and wages as in other developed and developing countries. Nevertheless, the increasing impact of parents' wages on the child's schooling attainment can result in future lower mobility. Combined with results found from the analysis of multidimensional inequalities in wellbeing, I conclude that social inequalities in China are expected to increase in the coming years. Policy measures should address them focusing particularly on providing equal access to education and good health.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 14, 2008 - 11:22:13 AM
Last modification on : Monday, March 19, 2018 - 2:19:09 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00272994, version 1


Kelly Labar. Social inequalities in China: which reality?. Humanities and Social Sciences. Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I, 2008. English. ⟨NNT : 2008CLF10304⟩. ⟨tel-00272994⟩



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