THREE ESSAYS ON PUBLIC POLICIES AND INEQUALITY IN CHINA
This dissertation contains three essays examining three influential public policies in China and their various outcomes over the last half-century. The first essay examines the quantity–quality trade-off induced by China's family control policy during the 1970s. Using two waves of Chinese census data, I find China's “Later, Longer, Fewer” policy from the 1970s significantly reduced fertility in the country. The second essay measures and examines the earning gaps among local urban workers and migrant workers using the 2002 China Household Income Project (CHIP2002) survey data. Relative to the urban workers, this study finds negative earning differentials and lower education returns among migrant workers. The third essay investigates the impacts of railway expansion in China on the urban-rural income gap over the last three decades. Using provincial panel data through a DID framework shows a positive relationship between railway expansion and improved urban-rural income inequality.