This study proposes a new approach to analyse the effects of an overlap term on the calculation of the overall Gini coefficient and estimates China’s Gini ratios since the adoption of the economic reform and open-door policies. A decomposition of the Chinese Gini coefficient for 1978–2010 reveals that the key factor contributing to income inequalities is the income disparity between rural and urban inhabitants. We further investigate the features of this income inequality between rural and urban areas and employ statistical approaches to evaluate the effects of urbanisation and rural-to-urban average income on nationwide income inequality. The results show that accelerating the pace of urbanisation is mainly responsible for decreasing China’s income disparity. Drawing on these results, we conclude with suggestions for related policies.
- Chinese Gini coefficient
- decomposition of Gini coefficient
- income disparity
- rural–urban income