Officials cast doubt on huge grey income numbers

14:34, August 26, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

In response to a question raised by a scholar on the "hidden incomes" of numerous urban residents that went uncounted by statistical departments, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) published two articles on its Web site on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25, asserting that the report was "unreasonable" and has flaws in the methods of choosing survey samples and making calculations.

Wang Xiaolu, deputy director of the National Economic Research Institute under the China Reform Foundation, said in a survey report that the amount of "hidden incomes" of urban residents that was missed in the official statistics hit 9.3 trillion yuan (China's national income would amount to 23.3 trillion yuan if the allegedly omitted stats were included), of which, 5.4 trillion yuan is "gray income." This means an even lower proportion of labor remuneration to GDP and a wider wealth gap.

Shi Faqi from the Department of National Accounts of the NBS noted that the survey samples are too small in number and non-representative. The number of households sampled was 4,900, about 8 percent of the household survey carried out by the NBS. The calculated results based on such a small number of samples are not reliable, Shi said.

Wang Youjuan, chief of the Household Office of the Department of Urban and Social Economic Survey under the NBS, said that to secure the data on residents' incomes and a series of consumption structures, the inquirers first interviewed their relatives, friends or neighbors and then asked the respondents to persuade their relatives, friends or neighbors to participate in the surveys. The survey approach, known as the snowball sampling method in sociology, is subject to the influence of subjective factors.

Shi said in the article that apart from the irrationality in the quoting data, there are evident defects in the estimation methods adopted by the survey. When the survey projected the disposable income of Chinese residents, it applied the rural and urban population data collected at the end of a year, while the statistical departments generally use the average population data of a year. The annual disposable income of Chinese residents in 2008 that was estimated based on the average population of the year is 600 billion yuan lower than that estimated based on the population at the end of the year.

Wang said in the article that the Engel's coefficient, a major analysis method applied by the survey, should not be used as a main basis to project residents' income in the current China. The changes in China's current consumption structure are greater than those seen in developed countries' relatively stable consumption structure. Moreover, the change in the Engel's coefficient is associated with many factors, so it is not just affected by the single factor of income.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:祁澍文)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Players of Iran throw up their coach Velasco Julio during the awarding ceremony at the 16th Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in Tehran, capital of Iran, Sept. 29, 2011. Iran won the champion after beating China 3-1 in the final on Thursday. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
  • Greek artists burn copies of emergency tax notices during a protest against austerity measures in Athens, Greece, on Sept. 29, 2011. The Greek government is facing a new wave of protests as it introduces new austerity measures to obtain the sixth tranche of aids necessary to overcome the acute debt crisis.(Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
  • A winner of the 36th Miss Bikini International 2011 poses for a photo at the Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, a coastal city of east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)
  • Staff members are in position at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • Champion of Miss Bikini from Poland receives trophy at the final of the 36th Miss Bikini International World Competition in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 28, 2011. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 28, 2011 shows autumn scenery of populus euphratica forests in Ejina Banner, north China's Inner Mongolia. The populus euphratica forests here, with an area of 390,000 mu, or 26,000 hectares, is one of the world's most famous populus euphratica forests. The golden leaves and sunshines here in autumn is able to attract more than 100,000 person-times annually. (Xinhua/Zhao Tingting)
Hot Forum Discussion