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How has Economic Restructuring Affected China’s Urban Workers?

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Author Info

  • John Giles

    ()

  • Albert Park

    ()

  • Fang Cai

    ()

Abstract

Using data from the China Urban Labor Survey conducted in five large Chinese cities at year end 2001, we quantify the nature and magnitude of shocks to employment and worker benefits during the period of economic structuring from 1996 to 2001, and evaluate the extent to which adversely affected urban workers had access to public and private assistance. Employment shocks were large and widespread, and were particularly hard on older workers and women. Unemployment reached double digits in all sample cities and labor force participation declined by 8 percent. Urban residents faced modest levels of wage and pension arrears, and sharp declines in health benefits. Public assistance programs for dislocated workers had limited coverage, with most job-leavers relying upon private assistance to support consumption, mainly from other household members.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 2003-628.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2003-628

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Keywords: labor; unemployment; China; restructuring;

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References

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  1. Tito Boeri, 1999. "Transition with Labour Supply," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 274, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Melvin Stephens, 2001. "The Long-Run Consumption Effects Of Earnings Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 28-36, February.
  3. Lokshin, Michael M. & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2001. "Household strategies for coping with poverty and social exclusion in post-crisis Russia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2556, The World Bank.
  4. Yuanzheng Cao & Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1997. "From Federalism, Chinese Style, to Privatization, Chinese Style," Working Papers 97049, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  5. Jan Svejnar, 2002. "Labor Market Flexibility in Central and East Europe," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 496, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  6. Tito Boeri & Katherine Terrell, 2001. "Institutional Determinants of Labor Reallocation in Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 384, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  7. 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.
  8. Dong, Xiao-Yuan & Putterman, Louis, 2003. "Soft budget constraints, social burdens, and labor redundancy in China's state industry," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 110-133, March.
  9. Giles, John & Park, Albert & Zhang, Juwei, 2005. "What is China's true unemployment rate?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 149-170.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Li, Hongbin & Rosenzweig, Mark & Zhang, Junsen, 2008. "Altruism, Favoritism, and Guilt in the Allocation of Family Resources: Sophie's Choice in Mao's Mass Send Down Movement," Working Papers 54, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  2. Gordon Betcherman & Niels-Hugo Blunch, 2008. "The limited job prospects of displaced workers: evidence from two cities in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 187-207, September.
  3. Rod Tyers & Jane Golley, 2006. "China's Growth to 2030: Demographic Change and the Labour Supply Constraint," PGDA Working Papers 1106, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  4. Sylvie Démurger & Martin Fournier & Li Shi & Wei Zhong, 2006. "Economic Liberalization with Rising Segmentation in China's Urban Labor Market," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 5(3), pages 58-101, June.
  5. Yang, Dennis T. & Chen, Vivian & Monarch, Ryan, 2010. "Rising Wages: Has China Lost Its Global Labor Advantage?," IZA Discussion Papers 5008, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Park, Albert & Wang, Dewen, 2010. "Migration and Urban Poverty and Inequality in China," IZA Discussion Papers 4877, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Yusuf, Shahid & Nabeshima, Kaoru & Wei Ha, 2007. "What makes cities healthy ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4107, The World Bank.
  8. Meng, Xin & Gregory, Robert & Wan, Guanghua, 2006. "China Urban Poverty and its Contributing Factors, 1986-2000," Working Paper Series RP2006/133, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  9. Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Quheng, Deng, 2007. "Social Assistance Receipt and its Importance for Combating Poverty in Urban China," IZA Discussion Papers 2758, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Jane Golley & Rod Tyers, 2006. "Demographic Change and the Labour Supply Constraint," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2006-467, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  11. Yueping Song & Xiao-yuan Dong, 2011. "Gender and Occupational Mobility in Urban China during the Economic Transition," Departmental Working Papers 2011-01, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.
  12. Meng, Xin & Gong, Xiaodong & Wang, Youjuan, 2004. "Impact of Income Growth and Economic Reform on Nutrition Intake in Urban China: 1986-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 1448, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Liu, Qian, 2012. "Unemployment and labor force participation in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 18-33.
  14. Giles, John & Park, Albert & Wang, Meiyan, 2008. "The great proletarian cultural revolution, disruptions to education, and returns to schooling in urban China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4729, The World Bank.

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