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The development of urban labour markets: China's urban wage curve, 1980-92

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  • Lora Sabin
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    Abstract

    This study explores the effect of China's economic reforms and growth on a critical outcome of labour market interactions: wage levels. Provincial data from 1980 to 1992 are used to analyse changes in interregional wage differentiation, and the relationship between average and real wages and a variety of economic variables. The results illuminate the increasing role of market forces, particularly labour demand variables such as economic growth and foreign investment, in determining wage levels and explaining the pattern of first declining, and then sharply rising, interregional wage differentials in the 1980s and early 1990s. At the same time, the empirical results highlight the persistence of barriers to labour mobility across regions and enterprises of different ownership types. These findings suggest that the evolution of China's urban labour market to date is marked by a combination of unprecedented flexibility as well as old and new forms of rigidity.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 35 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 134-152

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:35:y:1999:i:3:p:134-152

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    Cited by:
    1. Pierre, Gaƫlle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2004. "Employment Regulations through the Eyes of Employers: Do They Matter and How Do Firms Respond to Them?," IZA Discussion Papers 1424, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Richard B. Freeman, 2009. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries: Market distortions or Efficient Institutions?," NBER Working Papers 14789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Freeman, Richard B., 2010. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Kang, Lili & Peng, Fei, 2010. "Real wage cyclicality in urban China," MPRA Paper 45418, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Peng, Fei & Kang, Lili, 2013. "Wage Flexibility in Chinese Labor Market 1989-2009," MPRA Paper 46651, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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