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Rural-urban inequality and equality of opportunity in China : when inequality is desirable Wong, Cynthia Lok Yee


This paper is a normative study of the rural-urban social and economic inequalities in China. It applies the equality of opportunity principle of distributive justice to the analysis of rural-urban inequalities. The paper argues that the equality of opportunity principle provides the necessary condition in order for inequality to be just, morally acceptable and tolerable. An analysis of the rural-urban social inequalities shows that inequality between the rural and urban people is excessive and intolerable because it is premised on unequal competitive and substantive opportunities in social mobility and unequal capabilities. The paper reaffirms the importance of a human-centered approach to development.

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