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The inequalities of public utility products in China: From the perspective of the Atkinson index

Chuanwang Sun (), Yifan Zhang, Shuijun Peng and Wencheng Zhang

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2015, vol. 51, issue C, 751-760

Abstract: The Chinese households make up approximately a quarter of the world’s total. Compared with its size of population, China’s reserves of natural resources are relatively limited. With the actual concerns about sustainable development in China, we should pay more attention to the unequal distribution of energy, which may result low efficiency and wasting of energy. Therefore, how to best allocate the scarce public utility products (PUPs) for the household usage should be closely addressed in terms of equity and efficiency. Based on the micro household-level data from CRECS which investigated in 2013 in different scales’ city all over the country, we measure the distribution of PUPs consumption quantitatively and evaluate the inequality of household income, expenditures on electricity, gas, and water in the China’s residential sector by using the Atkinson index. The results show that, the Atkinson index of households’ total PUPs consumption in medium-scale city is equal to 0.0261, which is 83.0% higher than that of large-scale city, and 35.6% higher than that of small-scale city. It indicates that the inequalities of PUPs and income are greater in medium-scale cities than in large-scale and small-scale cities. Considering the sustainability of PUPs, we suggest further reform in China’s public utility sectors. The government should take more consideration on equality and efficiency of distribution, and ensure that people have equal living standards, especially for the low-income households who serve as the main anchor for the sustainable development of China.

Keywords: Inequality; Public utility products; Atkinson index; Sustainability of household energy consumption (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2015.06.055

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