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Self-Employment With Chinese Characteristics: The Forgotten Engine Of Rural China'S Growth

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Listed:
  • JIAN ZHANG
  • LINXIU ZHANG
  • SCOTT ROZELLE
  • STEVE BOUCHER

Abstract

This article sketches a picture of the self-employment sector in rural China and examines the nature of its emergence. Using a randomly selected, nationally representative household-level data set that contains detailed information on household self-employment activities, this article provides evidence that although the self-employed enterprises are small, they have grown fast, operate as relatively complex businesses, and perform well in a financially healthy way. These results, taken together with the pattern of the emergence of self-employed enterprises across China's regions, reveal that the expansion of self-employment is not symptomatic of a failing economy; instead it is a component of the dynamic development process that characterizes rural China during its reform period. "("JEL "J23, D21, O12)" Copyright 2006 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Jian Zhang & Linxiu Zhang & Scott Rozelle & Steve Boucher, 2006. "Self-Employment With Chinese Characteristics: The Forgotten Engine Of Rural China'S Growth," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(3), pages 446-458, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:24:y:2006:i:3:p:446-458
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "The Effects of Maternity Leave Legislation on Mothers' Labor Supply after Childbirth," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 772-799, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Démurger, Sylvie & Xu, Hui, 2011. "Return Migrants: The Rise of New Entrepreneurs in Rural China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1847-1861.
    2. Jin Yang & Hui Wang & Songqing Jin & Kevin Chen & Jeffrey Riedinger & Chao Peng, 2016. "Migration, local off-farm employment, and agricultural production efficiency: evidence from China," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 247-259, June.
    3. Chi, Wei & Li, Bo, 2014. "Trends in China’s gender employment and pay gap: Estimating gender pay gaps with employment selection," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 708-725.
    4. YUEH, Linda, 2009. "Self-employment in urban China: Networking in a transition economy," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 471-484, September.
    5. Gulumser, A.A. & Baycan Levent, T. & Nijkamp, P. & Poot, H.J., 2012. "The role of local and newcomer entrepreneurs in rural development: A comparative meta-analytic study," Serie Research Memoranda 0001, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    6. Frijters, Paul & Kong, Tao Sherry & Meng, Xin, 2011. "Migrant Entrepreneurs and Credit Constraints under Labour Market Discrimination," IZA Discussion Papers 5967, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Wang, Xiaobing & Huang, Jikun & Zhang, Linxiu & Rozelle, Scott, 2011. "The rise of migration and the fall of self employment in rural China's labor market," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 573-584.
    8. Zuwarimwe, J. & Kirsten, Johann F., 2010. "The role of social networks in development of small-scale enterprises in the Chimanimani district of Zimbabwe," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 49(1), March.
    9. Alexander Chepurenko, 2015. "Entrepreneurship Theory: New Challenges and Future Prospects," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 9(2), pages 44-57.
    10. Yueh, Linda, 2009. "China's Entrepreneurs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 778-786, April.
    11. Jikun Huang & Yunhua Wu & Scott Rozelle, 2009. "Moving off the farm and intensifying agricultural production in Shandong: a case study of rural labor market linkages in China," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(2), pages 203-218, March.
    12. Hu, Feng, 2015. "Return to Education for China’s Return Migrant Entrepreneurs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 296-307.
    13. Giulietti, Corrado & Wahba, Jackline & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2013. "Entrepreneurship of the Left-Behind," IZA Discussion Papers 7270, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Alan de Brauw & Scott Rozelle, 2008. "Reconciling the Returns to Education in Off-Farm Wage Employment in Rural China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 57-71, February.
    15. Han, Linghui & Hare, Denise, 2013. "The link between credit markets and self-employment choice among households in rural China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 52-64.
    16. Feinian Chen & Kim Korinek, 2010. "Family life course transitions and rural Household economy during China’s market reform," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(4), pages 963-987, November.
    17. Jia, Xiangping & Xiang, Cheng & Huang, Jikun, 2013. "Microfinance, self-employment, and entrepreneurs in less developed areas of rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 94-103.
    18. Linda Yueh, 2010. "The Economy of China," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3705, April.
    19. Su, Weiliang & Eriksson, Tor & Zhang, Linxiu & Bai, Yunli, 2016. "Off-farm employment and time allocation in on-farm work in rural China from gender perspective," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 34-45.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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