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Glass Ceiling or Sticky Floor? Examining the Gender Pay Gap across the Wage Distribution in Urban China, 1987-2004

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  • Chi, Wei
  • Li, Bo

Abstract

Using 1987, 1996, and 2004 data, we show that the gender pay gap in the Chinese urban labor market has increased across the wage distribution, and the increase was greater at the lower quantiles. We interpret this as evidence of the “sticky floor” effect.We use the reweighting and recentered influence function projection method proposed by Firpo, Fortin, Lemieux (2005) to decompose gender pay differentials across the wage distribution. We find that the gender differences in the return to labor market characteristics, also known as the “discrimination effect” or “unexplained gender pay gap”, contribute most to the increase in the overall gender pay gap. The Firpo, Fortin, and Lemieux method allows us to further decompose the gender pay gap into the contribution of each individual variable. We find that the “sticky floor” effect may be associated with a particularly low paid group of female production workers with relatively less education working in non-state owned enterprises.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 3544.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:3544

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Keywords: glass ceiling; sticky floor; gender pay gap; wage distribution; Influence Function;

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  1. Maurer-Fazio, Margaret & Hughes, James, 2002. "The Effects of Market Liberalization on the Relative Earnings of Chinese Women," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 709-731, December.
  2. Meng, Xin, 1998. "Male-female wage determination and gender wage discrimination in China's rural industrial sector," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 67-89, March.
  3. Sergio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 953-973, 05.
  4. Vera A. Adamchik & Arjun S. Bedi, 2003. "Gender pay differentials during the transition in Poland," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(4), pages 697-726, December.
  5. 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.
  6. Xin Meng, 1998. "Gender occupational segregation and its impact on the gender wage differential among rural-urban migrants: a Chinese case study," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(6), pages 741-752.
  7. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
  8. Donald, Stephen G & Green, David A & Paarsch, Harry J, 2000. "Differences in Wage Distributions between Canada and the United States: An Application of a Flexible Estimator of Distribution Functions in the Presence of Covariates," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 609-33, October.
  9. Hiau Joo Kee, 2006. "Glass Ceiling or Sticky Floor? Exploring the Australian Gender Pay Gap," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(259), pages 408-427, December.
  10. Melly, Blaise, 2005. "Decomposition of differences in distribution using quantile regression," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 577-590, August.
  11. Meng, Xin & Miller, Paul, 1995. "Occupational Segregation and Its Impact on Gender Wage Discrimination in China's Rural Industrial Sector," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 136-55, January.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  15. Thomas Lemieux, 2002. "Decomposing changes in wage distributions: a unified approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 646-688, November.
  16. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Bowles, Paul, 2002. "Segmentation and discrimination in China's emerging industrial labor market," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 170-196.
  17. 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.
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