This dissertation is comprised of three chapters that study topics on Chinese development from micro perspective using both cross sectional and longitudinal household surveys. The first chapter examines how circumstances and self-effort are associated with individual adulthood income, professional status and social class in China. When estimating Mincer equations, I use a new estimator that simultaneously overcomes the lack of genuine panel data and provides the identification of the coefficients of time invariant covariates. I find that the observed income inequality drops by more 30 % when both the observed circumstance variables and unobserved cohort effects are equalized for all the individuals in the sample. The second chapter studies the relationship between body-mass-index (BMI) and physical beauty. A higher BMI is found to be negatively correlated with beauty for both urban and rural women. I pay attention to the correlated interviewer-specific unobservables and classical errors in variables. The third chapter examines the causal relationship between beauty and individual labor market earnings. I use parental characteristics as instrumental variables and include hazard rate and inverse Mills ratio to control for selection into occupations. The impact on hourly labor earnings of a one standard deviation increase in beauty is equivalent to a seven year increase in schooling for the cross sectional model. For the longitudinal model, one standard deviation increase in beauty will increase women’s annual income by 40% and increase men’s annual income by more than 20%.