This paper evaluates the impact of some key labor market reforms on rural-urban inequality and income distribution, using a household-disaggregated, recursive dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of China. We also explore how these factor market reforms interact with product market reforms currently underway as part of China’s WTO accession process. The simulation results show that the reforms in rural land rental market and Hukou system, as well as increasing off-farm labor mobility would reduce the urban-rural income ratio dramatically. Furthermore, the combination of WTO accession and factor market reforms improves both efficiency and equality significantly.


Labor market, Income distribution, WTO, Computable general equilibrium, China

Date of this Version

June 2003