This paper measures the unequal development of the regional economies in China and investigates the primary factors leading to the inequality. The official data on China’s regional GDP and the regional GDP of three industrial sectors from 1991–2001, as reported in the China Statistical Yearbook and A Statistical Survey of China, are adopted to calculate and decompose the Gini coefficient for each year. The primary finding is that the levels of inequality in China’s regional economies clearly showed a slight upward trend after 1991. The inequality of the overall GDP is primarily attributed to the between-group effect rather than to the within-group effect. It is also found that the regional inequality of the secondary industry sector’s development accounted for half of the overall inequality. Thus, this study suggests that it is crucial for China to formulate and adhere to policies that will help it to develop the economy more equally among all areas and to develop the secondary industry sector among all regions/provinces in order to overcome the important issue of the inequality in regional economic development.
Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies,1(3),273-285