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Rural Migrants: On the Fringe of the City, a Bridge to the Countryside

Labour Market Disparity, Poverty, and Inequality in Urban China

Fei Guo and Zhiming Cheng


ABSTRACT: This paper examines poverty and income inequality in urban China by analysing recent survey data collected in four of the largest Chinese cities(1). Using a number of quantitative measurements, including poverty indices and Gini coefficients, the paper investigates income poverty and inequality among three groups, namely urban locals, urban migrants, and rural migrants. The results strongly suggest that urban poverty and inequality are a serious issue and that rural migrants have become a major segment in the urban poor class. The results are expected to contribute to the debate on how to improve public policy on poverty alleviation, which currently focuses only on officially registered urban locals.

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Electronic reference

Fei Guo and Zhiming Cheng, « Labour Market Disparity, Poverty, and Inequality in Urban China », China Perspectives [Online], 2010/4 | 2010, Online since 01 December 2013, connection on 21 February 2018. URL :

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