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Showing posts from May, 2020

Capital Accumulation, Private Property, and Rising Inequality in China, 1978–2015, By Piketty, Thomas, Li Yang, and Gabriel Zucman

China has seen a large economic expansion after 1978. What is the distribution of the wealth accumulated through the economic expansion?

Piketty, Yang, and Zucman (2019, AER) provide the first piece of evidence on the wealth distribution between the public and private sectors, and top and bottom individuals. They find that the ratio of national wealth to national income has increased from 350 percent in 1978 to 700 percent in 2015. 
The share of public property in national wealth has declined from 70 percent in 1978 to 30 percent in 2015. More than 95 percent of the housing is now owned by private households, as compared to 50 percent in 1978. 30 percent of equities of the listed companies are owned by private Chinese entities, 60 percent to the government, and  10 percent to foreigners. "China has ceased to be communist, but is not entirely capitalists; it should rather be viewed as a mixed economy with strong public ownership. The share of public property in China today (30 per…