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Economic Reform and Changing Patterns of Labor Force Participation in Urban and Rural China

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Author Info

  • Margaret Maurer-Fazio

    ()

  • James Hughes

    ()

  • Dandan Zhang

    ()

Abstract

In this project, we employ data from the Chinese population censuses of 1982, 1990, and 2000 to examine reform-era changes in the patterns of male and female labor force participation and in the distribution of men’s and women’s occupational attainment. Very marked patterns of change in labor force participation emerge when we disaggregate the data by age cohort, marital status, sex, and rural/urban location. Women have decreased their labor force participation more than men, and urban women much more than rural women. Single young people in urban areas have decreased their labor force participation to stay in school to a much greater extent than single young people in rural areas. The urban elderly have decreased their rates of labor force participation while the rural elderly have increased theirs. We also find evidence of the feminization of agriculture.

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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 wp787.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2005-787

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Keywords: China; labor force participation; economic reform; occupational attainment; population censuses;

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  1. Lee, Jongchul, 2000. "Changes in the source of China's regional inequality," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 232-245.
  2. Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 2004. "China's (uneven) progress against poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3408, The World Bank.
  3. Fleisher, Belton M. & Chen, Jian, 1997. "The Coast-Noncoast Income Gap, Productivity, and Regional Economic Policy in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 220-236, October.
  4. Chen, Jian & Fleisher, Belton M., 1996. "Regional Income Inequality and Economic Growth in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 141-164, April.
  5. Loraine West, 1999. "Pension reform in China: Preparing for the future," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 153-183.
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Cited by:
  1. Connelly, Rachel & Maurer-Fazio, Margaret & Zhang, Dandan, 2014. "The Role of Coresidency with Adult Children in the Labor Force Participation Decisions of Older Men and Women in China," IZA Discussion Papers 8068, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Liu, Qian, 2012. "Unemployment and labor force participation in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 18-33.

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