Ethnic Inequalities in China?

Christopher B. Sullivan, University of California, Berkeley

Scholarly works on inequality in China have tended to focus on regional inequality, while studies of ethnic inequality have received far less attention. The few direct studies of ethnic inequality in China have failed to reach a consensus over whether ethnic inequality is largely the result of ethnicity, or a consequence of well-documented regional inequalities. This study attempts to analyze whether ethnic inequality is the result of ethnicity per se, or a combination of other factors, particularly region of residence. I examine the complex relationship between ethnicity and regional inequalities in China using data at the individual level. While at first glance there may be inequality between the Han and non-Han among several indicators of inequality: total family income, occupational categories, commodity ownership and attitudes, using national survey data from 1996 I show that such differences can better be explained through regional inequalities and socio-economic indicators.

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Presented in Session 159: Chinese Inequality