This paper reports an application of household survey data collected from grain producing areas in five provinces of China to issues of the determinants of rural inequality. Previous studies suggest that non-agricultural activities have been the major cause of rural income inequality, which has important implications for policy formulation. However, our results show that inequality within the grain producing areas was also very high, with differences in crop income as the major source of inequality. The policy implications are also different from those of previous studies. While some suggest that an increase in agricultural income can reduce inequality, our results indicate that this is not universally true. In some cases, whether the increase in crop income has come from state procurement also matters. These results call for a more cautious and area-specific approach to policy formulation as far as inequality is concerned.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Economics and Econometrics