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The Evolution of Gender Earnings Gaps and Discrimination in Urban China: 1988-1995

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Author Info

  • Sylvie DEMURGER

    ()
    (HIEBS, the University of Hong Kong and CNRS (France))

  • Martin FOURNIER

    ()
    (CEFC (Hong Kong))

  • CHEN Yi

    ()
    (CERDI, Université d’Auvergne (France))

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of market liberalization on gender earnings differentials and discrimination against women in urban China at the beginning of the 90s. The observed stability in the overall gender earnings gap between 1988 and 1995 is shown to result from a complex set of evolutions across enterprises, earnings distributions and time. Our results highlight the interplay of opposing forces, economic reforms contributing to changes in managers’ behaviors in different dimensions. On the one hand, by bringing more competition, liberalization favored a reduction in discriminating behaviors in both urban collectives and foreign-invested enterprises; on the other hand, by relaxing institutional rules, it led to a loosening of the government’s egalitarian wage setting policies, leaving more space for discrimination in state-owned enterprises.

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File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2006-23.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 23.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2006-23

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Keywords: gender earnings differentials; discrimination; enterprise ownership; urban China;

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References

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  1. Dong, Xiao-Yuan & MacPhail, Fiona & Bowles, Paul & Ho, Samuel P. S., 2004. "Gender Segmentation at Work in China's Privatized Rural Industry: Some Evidence from Shandong and Jiangsu," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 979-998, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Li, Haizheng, 2003. "Economic transition and returns to education in China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 317-328, June.
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  12. 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.
  13. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  14. Chen, Yi & Demurger, Sylvie & Fournier, Martin, 2005. "Earnings Differentials and Ownership Structure in Chinese Enterprises," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 933-58, July.
  15. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
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Cited by:
  1. Lam, Kevin C.K. & McGuinness, Paul B. & Vieito, João Paulo, 2013. "CEO gender, executive compensation and firm performance in Chinese‐listed enterprises," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1136-1159.

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