Tak Wing Chan: The dynamics of income inequality: the case of China in a comparative perspective
We are pleased to invite you to a guest lecture with Dr. Tak Wing Chan from the Department of social science, UCL Institute of Education in London. The theme for the lecture is: The dynamics of income inequality: the case of China in a comparative perspective
Permanent income is more unequally distributed in China than in the US, the UK, and Germany. Illustration:Colorbox
We compare household income panel data from China, Germany, the UK, and the US. Consistent with previous research, we show that income is more unequally distributed in China than in the three Western countries. But China also has a higher level of income mobility. Because mobility has an income-equalising effect, the snapshot measures of inequality overstate the true level of inequality in China to a greater degree than they do for the other countries. But even after we have taken into account the impact of mobility, permanent income is more unequally distributed in China than in the US, the UK, and Germany. Moreover, in the three Western countries, the lion's share of income inequality is between individuals rather than within individual. The opposite holds for China. In light of our findings, we discuss how far the sharp rise of income inequality in China can be explained by the Kuznets' inverted-U-shaped curve.