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Economic transition and gender differentials in wages and productivity: Evidence from Chinese manufacturing enterprises

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  • Dong, Xiao-yuan
  • Zhang, Liqin

Abstract

We use firm-level data to analyze male-female wage differences in Chinese industry in the late 1990s. Our estimates indicate that employers' discrimination against women was not a significant source of the gender wage gap in Chinese state-owned enterprises. Instead, we find that the relative wage of unskilled female to male workers was higher than their relative productivity. This result indicates that unskilled female workers in the state sector had historically received wage premiums and consequently accounted for a disproportionate share of the sector's labor surplus.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 144-156

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:88:y:2009:i:1:p:144-156

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

Related research

Keywords: I30 J16 J21 J64 J71 O10 R20 Gender wage discrimination Economic transition China;

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References

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  1. Jennifer Hunt, 1997. "The Transition in East Germany: When is a Ten Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 156, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Svejnar, Jan, 1984. "The determinants of industrial-sector earnings in Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-3), pages 289-311.
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  4. Orazem, Peter F. & Vodopivec, Milan, 1999. "Male-female differences in labor market outcomes during the early transition to market : the case of Estonia and Slovenia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2087, The World Bank.
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  6. Dean Jolliffe & Nauro F. Campos, 2004. "Does Market Liberalisation Reduce Gender Discrimination? Econometric Evidence from Hungary, 1986—1998," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-678, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  7. Newell, Andrew & Reilly, Barry, 2001. "The gender pay gap in the transition from communism: some empirical evidence," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 287-304, December.
  8. Dong, Xiao-Yuan & Putterman, Louis, 2003. "Soft budget constraints, social burdens, and labor redundancy in China's state industry," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 110-133, March.
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  13. John A. Bishop & Feijun Luo & Fang Wang, 2005. "Economic transition, gender bias, and the distribution of earnings in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(2), pages 239-259, 04.
  14. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "Wage Structure and Gender Earnings Differentials: An International Comparison," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages S29-62, Suppl..
  15. Gunseli Berik, 2000. "Mature Export-Led Growth and Gender Wage Inequality in Taiwan," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 1-26.
  16. Xin Meng & Junsen Zhang & Pak-Wai Liu, 2000. "Sectoral gender wage differentials and discrimination in the transitional Chinese economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 331-352.
  17. Björn Gustafsson & Shi Li, 2000. "Economic transformation and the gender earnings gap in urban China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 305-329.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cristian Bartolucci, 2010. "Understanding the Native-Immigrant Wage Gap Using Matched Employer-Employee Data. Evidence from Germany," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 150, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  2. Chen, Zhihong & Ge, Ying & Lai, Huiwen & Wan, Chi, 2013. "Globalization and Gender Wage Inequality in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 256-266.
  3. Dammert, Ana C. & Ural Marchand, Beyza, 2013. "Privatization in China: Technology and Gender in the Manufacturing Sector," Working Papers 2013-12, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  4. Rickne, Johanna, 2010. "Gender, Wages and Social Security in China’s Industrial Sector," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2010:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Pandey, Manish, 2012. "Gender and labor retrenchment in Chinese state owned enterprises: Investigation using firm-level panel data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 385-395.
  6. Liangshu Qi & Xiao-Yuan Dong, 2013. "Housework Burdens, Quality of Market Work Time, and Men’s and Women’s Earnings in China," Departmental Working Papers 2013-01, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.
  7. Dammert, Ana & Ural Marchand, Beyza & Wan, Chi, 2013. "Gender Wage-Productivity Differentials and Global Integration in China," Working Papers 2013-1, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

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