Rural Discrimination in Twentieth Century China
In this paper I will argue that the divide between rural and urban areas is a prominent cause of inequality of opportunity in China today. To convey this point I will first show that the Mao regime favored industry and cities at the expense of the countryside during and after the Great Leap Forward. Next I will argue that the reform period that began in the 1980s exacerbated inequalities between town and country. Finally, I will argue that institutional barriers in the realm of education impede the social mobility of rural Chinese citizens in the present day. My goal is to evoke an image of favoritism toward urban residents and sustained, institutionalized discrimination against rural citizens during the last half-century of Chinese history.