Bloomberg features Yu Xie's research, reporting Chinese income inequality surpasses that of the U.S.

April 29, 2014

"The income gap between the rich and poor in China has surpassed that of the U.S. and is among the widest in the world," write Lorraine Woellert and Sharon Chen, reporters for Bloomberg, in the April 29 article, "China's Income Inequality Surpasses U.S., Posing Risk for Xi."

Citing research just published by Ford School faculty member Yu Xie, the Otis Dudley Duncan Distinguished University Professor of Sociology, Statistics, and Public Policy, they suggest that growing wealth disparities will lead to increased risk of social unrest for the world's biggest developing economy.

Xie's research, conducted with U-M graduate student Xiang Zhou, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article, "Income Inequality in Today's China." The study documents the rapid increase in income inequality in China, and argues that this inequality has been augmented by Chinese policies.

"The rapid rise in income inequality in China can be partly attributed to long-standing government development policies that effectively favor urban residents over rural residents and favor coastal, more developed regions over inland, less developed regions," says Zhou. They believe changes in government policies, designed to reduce rural-urban and regional disparities, can have a major impact on reducing income inequality.

For additional detail, read the U-M story, "Income inequality now greater in China than in US."