Original Research

Trade structure, trade mode and the urban-rural income gap in China

Hao Wei, Xi Wang
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 16, No 2 | a210 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v16i2.210 | © 2013 Hao Wei, Xi Wang | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 May 2011 | Published: 31 May 2013

About the author(s)

Hao Wei, Beijing Normal University, China
Xi Wang,, China

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This paper analyses the effect of foreign trade in China on the urban-rural income gap from certain angles including trade scale, trade structure and trade mode at the national and provincial levels. The empirical results indicate that, from the perspective of trade scale, the export and import in the eastern and national regions have an expansion effect on the urban-rural income gap, and, in the central regions, they have a reduction effect. Furthermore, export in the western regions has a reduction effect while import in these regions did not have a significant effect. From the perspective of trade structure, the trade of high-tech products and labour-intensive products in the national and eastern regions has an expansion effect, and the trade of the above-mentioned products in the central regions has a reduction effect. The trade of labour-intensive products in the western regions has a reduction effect, and that of high-tech products an expansion effect. From the perspective of trade mode, processing trade and general trade in the national and eastern regions have an expansion effect, while in the central regions they have a reduction effect. General trade in the western regions would expand the urban-rural income gap, and processing trade does not have a significant effect. Consequently, when the South African Government is working out trade multiplicative and corresponding policy, they should consider the development of foreign trade and should pay attention to the labour market structure.


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