Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2014

Inequality and Growth in the 'Chinese Dream'

by Rafael Di Tella, Meg Rithmire and Kaitlyn Szydlowski


Xi Jinping assumed his position as head of China's fifth generation of leaders in 2012. Xi was head of both the People's Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party, which had ruled China since 1949. Xi inherited a country far more unequal than the one that Mao Zedong, Communist China's first leader, had left behind in 1978. The growth of markets had made China much wealthier, but also generated many social problems, including inequality, corruption, and social protests. This case discusses China's political and economic development in the 20th century to situate Xi's—and China's—contemporary challenges.

Keywords: China; Growth; inequality; Wealth and Poverty; social stability; perceptions of inequality; chinese dream; chinese political thought; corruption; Equality and Inequality; China;


Di Tella, Rafael, Meg Rithmire, and Kaitlyn Szydlowski. "Inequality and Growth in the 'Chinese Dream'." Harvard Business School Case 714-440, March 2014.