The Rise of the Middle Class in the People’s Republic of China

47 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2011

See all articles by Zhang Yuan

Zhang Yuan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Wang Guanghua

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Niny Khor

Asian Development Bank

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

Using $2–$20 (purchasing power parity) per capita daily income as the definition of middle class, majority of households in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have become middle class by 2007, which is especially impressive given that around 40% of households were still considered poor in 1991. The rise of the middle class is evident for both urban and rural areas and across East, Central, and West PRC. The drivers of this trend include market development, industrialization, and privatization. As industrialization and urbanization continue in the PRC, the growth of the middle class will intensify, and could hold the key to altering the PRC’s growth pattern from investment- and export-led to consumption-led.

Keywords: middle class, poverty, income distribution, People’s Republic of China

JEL Classification: D31, D63, N35, O15

Suggested Citation

Yuan, Zhang and Guanghua, Wang and Khor, Niny, The Rise of the Middle Class in the People’s Republic of China (February 1, 2011). Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper No. 247, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1806769 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1806769

Zhang Yuan (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Wang Guanghua

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Niny Khor

Asian Development Bank ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila
Philippines

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