Drawing on field research and statistical data, this article is an original contribution to the understanding of the public sector “equal pay” policy and, more broadly, income distribution in China. The making and development of the equal pay policy epitomize the complexity and challenges in promoting wealth distribution in China. Surging government revenue boosts public confidence in improving civil service pay in order to build a responsible government while the widening income inequality in society complicates remuneration across sectors in China. Although the Chinese government has substantially mitigated the public–private pay gap, attempts to make pay more equal across different localities and units have largely failed in China. Compared with some developing countries, the Chinese government has fiscal capacity to pay civil servants fairly and adequately; nevertheless, substantial pay inequality within the public sector has diluted the positive effect of the civil service pay reform. The broad implication is that inclusive growth toward a harmonious society in China requires a thorough and comprehensive rethinking of China’s overall income distribution system. Copyright © 2012 City University of Hong Kong.
CitationWu, A. M. (2012). The equal pay policy in China: A preliminary assessment. Journal of Comparative Asian Development, 11(2), 248-270.
- Public sector pay
- Income distribution
- Inclusive growth