Understanding Inequality in China

Publication Year


Conference Paper

Drawing on past research, the author has set forth the following propositions: (1) inequality in China has been severely impacted by certain collective mechanisms, such as regions and work units; (2) traditional Chinese political ideology has promoted merit‐based inequality, with merit being perceived as functional in improving the collective welfare for the masses; and (3) many Chinese people today regard inequality as an inevitable consequence of economic development. Thus, it seems unlikely that social inequality alone would lead to political and social unrest in today’s China.