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Evolution of the Industrial Wage Structure in China Since 1980

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Author Info

  • Kwon, Ohyun

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

  • Fleisher, Belton M.

    ()
    (Ohio State University)

  • Deng, Quheng

    ()
    (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

Abstract

Industry mean wages in China have exhibited sharply increased dispersion since the early 1990s. The upward trend in differences of average wages among major industry groups parallels increases in wage and income inequality not only between rural and urban sectors but within the urban economy as well. Research on the trend has focused on (1) how market forces have led to a better match between worker pay and worker skills; on (2a) how the growing share of employment in the private sector has “caused” growing wage inequality; and (2b) how residual government control in a few industrial sectors has contributed to wage inequality due monopoly rent sharing. We show that the industrial wage dispersion in China has evolved to match long-recognized international patterns of industrial wage dispersion and that an increasing proportion of industrial wage dispersion can be explained as returns to observed worker characteristics.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5880.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5880

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Keywords: industry-wage structure; China; inequality;

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  1. Veronique Genre & Karsten Kohn & Daphne Momferatou, 2011. "Understanding inter-industry wage structures in the euro area," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(11), pages 1299-1313.
  2. Samuel P.S. Ho & Xiao-Yuan Dong & Paul Bowles & Fiona MacPhail, 2002. "Privatization and enterprise wage structures during transition: Evidence from rural industry in china," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 10(3), pages 659-688, November.
  3. Juan Yang & Sylvie Démurger & Shi Li, 2010. "Earnings Differentials between the Public and the Private Sectors in China : Explaining Changing Trends for Urban Locals in the 2000s," Working Papers 1032, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  4. John Whalley & Chunbing Xing, 2010. "The Regional Distribution of Skill Premia in Urban China," NBER Working Papers 16575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  6. Zhao Chen & Ming Lu & Guanghua Wan, 2010. "Inter-Industry Wage Differentials: An Increasingly Important Contributor to Urban China Income Inequality," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-130, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
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