Interprovincial disparities in China since the reforms: Convergence or divergence?
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This paper investigates the extent of disparities amongst the provinces of China since the economic reform in 1978 up to the most recent year for which data is available. After a brief review of theoretical and in particular recent empirical literature on regional inequality in China it investigates whether or not the dynamic economic growth in China has been coupled with increasing disparities amongst the Chinese provinces. The paper utilises a few models of convergence along the lines of those hypothesised by neoclassical economists. It employs per capita income and per capita consumption to identify the possible absolute and conditional convergence since the economic reforms. The coverage and impact of the disparities in terms of the relative size of population affected are then taken into account in the analysis of inequality in income and consumption.