The “Difference between Heaven and Earth”: Rural-Urban Disparities in Health and Well-Being in China

Donald J. Treiman, University of California, Los Angeles

Rural-urban disparities in health and well-being in China are large. Economic disparities are exacerbated by institutional arrangements that have created a two-class society with sharp rural-urban distinctions in the public provision of schooling, health care, housing, and retirement benefits. My paper will describe rural-urban disparities in health and well-being and will analyze whether, to what extent, and in what ways such disparities have changed over time. I also will consider to what extent changes over the life course in health and well-being reflect geographical and social mobility. To carry out this analysis, I will exploit two national probability sample surveys I and colleagues conducted in China, one in 1996 and one in 2008. These data will be supplemented by selected data from the Chinese General Social Survey; the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS); the China Household Income Project (CHIP); and the national population censuses of China.

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Presented in Session 32: Income, Neighborhoods, and Health