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Understanding Urban Wage Inequality in China 1988-2008: Evidence from Quantile Analysis

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  • Appleton, Simon

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Song, Lina

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Xia, Qingjie

    ()
    (Peking University)

Abstract

This paper examines change in wage gaps in urban China by estimating quantile regressions on CHIPS data. It applies the Machado and Mata (2005) decomposition, finding sharp increases in inequality from 1988 to 1995 and from 2002 to 2008 largely due to changes in the wage structure. The analysis reports how the returns to education and experience vary across wage quantiles, along with wage differentials by sex and party membership. The role of industrial structure, ownership reform and occupational change are also estimated. In the recent period, 2002 to 2008, falls in the returns to education and experience have been equalising. However, changes in every other category of observed wage differential – by sex, occupation, ownership, industrial sector and province – have served to widened inequality. The gender gap continued to rise, as did the gap between white collar and blue collar workers, and between manufacturing and most other industrial sectors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7101.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7101

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Keywords: China; labour; wages; quantile regression; inequality;

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  1. Simon Appleton & John Knight & Lina Song & Qingjie Xia, 2004. "Contrasting paradigms: segmentation and competitiveness in the formation of the chinese labour market," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 185-205.
  2. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-60, September.
  3. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  4. Roger Koenker & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Quantile Regression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 143-156, Fall.
  5. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  6. Appleton, Simon & Knight, John & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2002. "Labor retrenchment in China: Determinants and consequences," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 252-275.
  7. Dinardo, J. & Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: a Semiparametric Approach," Cahiers de recherche 9406, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  8. Koenker, Roger & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1982. "Robust Tests for Heteroscedasticity Based on Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 43-61, January.
  9. Pham, Hung T & Reilly, Barry, 2007. "The Gender Pay Gap In Vietnam, 1993-2002: A Quantile Regression Approach," MPRA Paper 6475, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, May.
  11. Appleton, Simon & Knight, John & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2008. "The Economics of Communist Party Membership: The Curious Case of Rising Numbers and Wage Premium during China’s Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 3454, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Zhang, Junsen & Zhao, Yaohui & Park, Albert & Song, Xiaoqing, 2005. "Economic returns to schooling in urban China, 1988 to 2001," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 730-752, December.
  13. Svejnar, Jan, 1999. "Labor markets in the transitional Central and East European economies," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 42, pages 2809-2857 Elsevier.
  14. Ge, Suqin & Yang, Dennis T., 2012. "Changes in China's Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 6492, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. de Oliveira Cruz , Bruno & Naticchioni , Paolo, 2012. "Falling urban wage premium and inequality trends: evidence for Brazil," Investigaciones Regionales, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 24, pages 91-113.
  16. Hongbin Li & Pak Wai Liu & Ning Ma & Junsen Zhang, 2005. "Economic Returns to Communist Party Membership: Evidence from Chinese Twins," Discussion Papers 00015, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  17. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
  18. Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2005. "Has China crossed the river? The evolution of wage structure in urban China during reform and retrenchment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 644-663, December.
  19. 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.
  20. John Knight & Lina Song, 2003. "Increasing urban wage inequality in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(4), pages 597-619, December.
  21. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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