In this study, we examine the moderating role of subnational institutions (marketization) in the relationship between social stratification, on the one hand, and entrepreneurial choice and income growth, on the other. Our analyses, using data from 5,581 individual-wave observations from nine provincial regions in rural China, across six data collection waves, show that: (1) lower-class status is conducive to self-employment, while being from the upper class encourages individuals to become employers; (2) compared to their middle-class counterparts, both upper- and lower-class entrepreneurs enjoy higher levels of income growth; and (3) when subnational marketization is high, the positive effect of being upper class on selecting entrepreneurship as a career is weakened, but the effect on income growth among entrepreneurs is strengthened. We discuss the implications of our findings for theory and future research.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (71972148); MOE (Ministry of Education in China) Project of Humanities and Social Sciences (18YJA630097).
We would like to thank Professors Gary Bruton (Texas Christian University, US), Dean Xu (Monash University, Australia), Jun Xia (The University of Texas at Dallas, US), Changhui Zhou (Peking University, China), Yong Li (University of Nevada Las Vegas, US), Yu Li (University of International Business and Economics, China), and Xiangyang Zhao (Beijing Normal University, China) for their insightful suggestions in earlier versions of the manuscript. We especially appreciate the developmental comments of Professor Bat Batjargal (our editor) and the anonymous reviews. We also thank Dr. Rui Li (University of Electronic Science and Technology, China) for her research assistance at the early stage. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (71972148); MOE (Ministry of Education in China) Project of Humanities and Social Sciences (18YJA630097).
© The Author(s) 2021.
- income growth
- income stratification
- subnational marketization