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The Inequality of Human Capital among China's Children and China's Future Growth and Stability

"The Inequality of Human Capital among China's Children and China's Future Growth and Stability" by Professor Scott Rozelle, Stanford Univ.

Time: 1:00pm - 2:30pm, March 18

Location: White Hall 207, Emory University

Free and open to public

Despite the recent robust growth, there is concern that as China moves up the income ladder that its high level of inequality may be a breeding ground for future instability. China’s Gini today means that China’s income distribution is one of the most unequal in the world. It also is rising extremely fast at a time when other middle income countries are experiencing falling inequality. It has become such an important issue that the new president of China, Xi Jinping, is—at least publically—making the reduction of inequality one of the top priorities of his new development agenda.

But, the focus on income equality today may be missing the factors that will determine equality in the next generation (the time when growth will be lower and when large inequities in the population might really create serious friction and instability). One of the largest sources of inequality in the future is the inequality of human capital among young cohorts today. This talk will discuss China human capital inequality gaps for children ages 6 months to college age by drawing on numerous sources of data and spells of field work. Areas examined include gaps in health, nutrition and education, and the gaps will be measured for rural-urban; Han-minority; interregional; and more. In addition—and perhaps more importantly, we will look at ways that have been shown to shrink the inequality. The efforts will be looked at in terms of efficacy and cost effectiveness and scalability. Barriers to implementing the solutions by policy makers will also be discussed.

About the speaker

Scott Rozelle is the Helen F. Farnsworth Senior Fellow and the co-director of the Rural Education Action Program in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He received his BS from the University of California, Berkeley, and his MS and PhD from Cornell University. Previously, Rozelle was a professor at the University of California, Davis and an assistant professor in Stanford’s Food Research Institute and department of economics. He currently is a member of several organizations, including the American Economics Association, the International Association for Agricultural Economists, and the Association for Asian Studies. Rozelle also serves on the editorial boards of Economic Development and Cultural Change, Agricultural Economics, the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and the China Economic Review.

His research focuses almost exclusively on China and is concerned with: agricultural policy, including the supply, demand, and trade in agricultural projects; the emergence and evolution of markets and other economic institutions in the transition process and their implications for equity and efficiency; and the economics of poverty and inequality, with an emphasis on rural education, health and nutrition.