Life Histories and Social Change
in Contemporary China, 1996

Principal Investigators:

Donald J. Treiman
University of California, Los Angeles

Andrew Walder
Stanford University

Bibliography Codebooks    Appendices Data   User Registration

As part of the project "Life Histories and Social Change in Contemporary China," a national probability sample survey was conducted in the People's Republic of China during June-October1996. Interviews were completed for 6,090 Chinese adults, aged 20-69 (3,087 urban residents and 3,003 rural residents). As part of the fieldwork operation for the rural survey, a survey of 383 village leaders was also carried out, using the same questionnaire.

The sample of village leaders (sample=3) is not part of the general population sample, and should always be treated separately.  Also, since the rural and urban populations were sampled at different rates, and since the data were weighted to correct for differential household size (number of adults per household), the data should always be weighted (using the variable 'weight') when estimates for a representative sample are desired. Finally, because the sample (like most national sample surveys) is highly clustered, survey estimation procedures are strongly recommended to ensure correct standard errors. Specify the sampling stratum by using the variable "stratum" and the psu by using the variable "psu".

The project was initiated in 1994 by Donald J. Treiman, UCLA,  Ivan Szelenyi, then at UCLA and now at Yale, and Andrew Walder, then at Harvard and now at Stanford University, in cooperation with staff of the Department of  Sociology, People's University, Beijing. Unfortunately, Prof. Szelenyi found it necessary to withdraw from the project in early 1996 due to the press of other commitments. Funding was obtained by Treiman, Szelenyi, and Walder from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Luce Foundation, the Ford Foundation–Beijing, and the University of California Pacific Rim Research Program.

In addition, we acknowledge assistance provided to the project by the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, where Treiman was a Fellow-in-Residence during 1996-97; by the Division of the Social Sciences, Hong Kong University of  Science and Technology, where Walder served as head from 1995-97; and by Prof. Thomas Chan, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and CERD Associates. Special assistance in designing the sample was provided by Prof. William Cumberland, Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, UCLA; by Dr. Ma Zhongdong, Division of the Social Sciences, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; and by Prof. Wang Feng, then in the Program on Population, East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, and now in the Department of Sociology, University of California at Irvine. Finally, Li Bobai, then a graduate student at Stanford, and Song Shige, then at the People's University, Beijing, took special responsibility for creating an analysis-ready dataset.

This web site provides access to the documentation and data for the study described above.


On a separate page, bibliographic citations of works using the CLHS are provided.  Researchers are encouraged to use the bibliography in their work and to submit citations for published and unpublished works, conference papers, journal articles, monographs, dissertations and theses.  If the work can be shared with others, authors are encouraged to send a PDF format version of the material and a link from the bibliographic citation to the paper will be provided via the CLHS web site.  Click here to go to the Bibliography.


The codebook is divided into five parts, plus a number of appendices, and a list of cited references; the pages are numbered within parts. The remainder of Part I provides documentation pertaining to the questionnaire as a whole: descriptions of the sample design and reports on the fieldwork for each survey; methods for analyzing stratified samples; a list of all variables in the file; an alphabetical index of variable names; etc. Part II provides the codes for all variables coded directly from the questionnaire. In Part III constructed variables, such as recoded occupation and education information, family characteristics, etc., are shown. Part IV is the codebook for a file of occupation information; Part V is the codebook for a file of information on the characteristics of the sampling points, which has been incorporated into the main data file. Part VI includes the Appendices.  Appendices A and B give codes for response categories used repeatedly throughout the questionnaire. Appendix A gives the “Show Cards” used as response categories. Appendix B gives the codes for the occupation classifications used in the study. Appendix C gives the Stata 5.0 commands used to create the constructed variables shown in Part III. Appendix D contains a report on work undertaken to design the sample and lists of sampling points. Appendix E gives the instructions to interviewers, in English and Chinese. Appendix F reproduces the Chinese language questionnaire. We do not provide an English language version of the questionnaire since it would largely duplicate Part II. Finally, Part VII gives a list of references to materials cited throughout the codebook.

The current version of the codebook is not quite in final form.  A few sections remain to be translated, the English needs occasional clarification, some references need to be completed, etc. We hope to make these final corrections in the near future.

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Full Codebook and Appendices

lhsccc.pdf      4 mb

Main Codebook

ccb_1.pdf            189 kb
ccb_2.pdf            108 kb
ccb_3-5.pdf          39 kb

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app_a.pdf                     17 kb
app_b-c.pdf                238 kb
app_d_public.pdf        358 kb
app_e1.pdf                 637 kb
app_e2.pdf                 685 kb
app_e3.pdf                 508 kb
app_e4.pdf                   92 kb
app_f1.pdf                  441 kb
app_f2.pdf                  432 kb

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Last updated 23 July 2003.


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