IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Who is Better Off from Trade Liberalization? An Experience from Urban China

Listed author(s):
  • Yin He
Registered author(s):

    Empirical studies have found that the skill wage gap (difference between wages earned by skilled and unskilled workers) narrowed in the case of the 'Four Asian Dragons' as they underwent trade liberalization during the 1960s and 1970s, whereas the gap widened in most of the Latin American countries after they liberalized their economies in the 1980s. China's integration into the world economy since 1978 has been used to explain this phenomenon, but few formal studies have been carried out in China regarding the effects of trade liberalization on the skill wage gap because of the limited availability of data. The present study uses unique household surveys conducted in ten provinces of China in 1988 and 1995 to study this issue. Results show that trade liberalization that occurred in China between 1988 and 1995 was responsible for an average increase of 28.73 yuan (approximately 20 percent of the total increase) in average monthly wages. However, trade liberalization significantly widened the urban skill wage gap in China by introducing an increase in income only for those who had 13 years or more of education (at least junior high school graduates). Interestingly, import liberalization also only benefited those who had more than 9 years of schooling; whereas export liberalization brought wage increases for people with 7-12 years of education. Finally, those with specific production skills from technical schools, rather than those with several years of general education, were mostly favored in the labor market in China between 1988 and 1995. Copyright 2007 The Author Journal compilation 2007 East Asian Economic Association and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. .

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by East Asian Economic Association in its journal Asian Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 3 (09)
    Pages: 283-299

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bla:asiaec:v:21:y:2007:i:3:p:283-299
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:asiaec:v:21:y:2007:i:3:p:283-299. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.