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Climbing the development ladder: Economic development and the evolution of occupations in rural China

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  • Sandeep Mohapatra
  • Scott Rozelle
  • Jikun Huang

Abstract

We study how occupations evolve across space and time during the development of an economy. Using a data set on more than 200 villages from 8 provinces in China, we examine the main occupations that have characterised China's labour markets since the economic reforms. Our findings reveal a systematic evolutionary pattern of occupational emergence: the evolution of occupations proceeds from traditional and fairly simple forms of subsistence agriculture to modern, more complex manufacturing and service firms. Our findings suggest that rural development in China is being built by a process that can be described by the climbing of a development ladder with each step up the ladder denoting the economy's transition into a more complex occupational regime.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 42 (2006)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1023-1055

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:42:y:2006:i:6:p:1023-1055

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  1. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1986. "Access to Capital and Agrarian Production Organisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 482-98, June.
  2. de Brauw, Alan & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Zhang, Linxiu & Zhang, Yigang, 2002. "The Evolution of China's Rural Labor Markets During the Reforms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 329-353, June.
  3. World Bank, 2001. "China : Overcoming Rural Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13902, October.
  4. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1988. "Economic organization, information, and development," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 93-160 Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. Wang, Xiaobing, 2007. "Labor market behavior of Chinese rural households during transition," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Central and Eastern Europe, LeibĀ­niz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO), volume 42, number 92321.
  2. de Brauw, Alan & Rozelle, Scott, 2008. "Migration and household investment in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 320-335, June.
  3. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing, 2007. "Land rental markets in the process of rural structural transformation : productivity and equity impacts in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4454, The World Bank.

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