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Male-female wage discrimination in Chinese industry

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  • Liqin Zhang
  • Xiao-Yuan Dong

Abstract

We use firm-level data to analyze male-female wage discrimination in China's industry. We find that there is a significant negative association between wages and the share of female workers in a firm's labour force. However, we also find that the marginal productivity of female workers is significantly lower than that of male workers. Comparing wage gaps and productivity gaps between men and women, we notice an intriguing contrast between state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and private firms. The wage gap is smaller than the productivity gap in SOEs, while the converse is true for private firms. These results suggest that women in the state sector receive wage premiums, whereas women in the private sector face wage discrimination. Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2008 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development .

Suggested Citation

  • Liqin Zhang & Xiao-Yuan Dong, 2008. "Male-female wage discrimination in Chinese industry," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(1), pages 85-112, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:16:y:2008:i:1:p:85-112
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David, 1999. "Sex, Wages, and Productivity: An Empirical Analysis of Israeli Firm-Level Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(1), pages 95-123, February.
    2. Gunseli Berik, 2000. "Mature Export-Led Growth and Gender Wage Inequality in Taiwan," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 1-26.
    3. Tzannatos, Zafiris, 1999. "Women and Labor Market Changes in the Global Economy: Growth Helps, Inequalities Hurt and Public Policy Matters," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 551-569, March.
    4. Svejnar, Jan, 1984. "The determinants of industrial-sector earnings in Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-3), pages 289-311.
    5. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 1998. "Winners and Losers in Russia's Economic Transition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1094-1116, December.
    6. Cox, Donald & Nye, John Vincent, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 903-920, December.
    7. Björn Gustafsson & Shi Li, 2000. "Economic transformation and the gender earnings gap in urban China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(2), pages 305-329.
    8. Xin Meng & Junsen Zhang & Pak-Wai Liu, 2000. "Sectoral gender wage differentials and discrimination in the transitional Chinese economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(2), pages 331-352.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yueping Song & Xiao-Yuan Dong, 2013. "Gender and Occupational Mobility in Urban China during the Economic Transition," Research in Labor Economics,in: Labor Market Issues in China, volume 37, pages 93-122 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    2. repec:eee:renene:v:116:y:2018:i:pa:p:194-201 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Xingqiang Du, 2016. "Does Confucianism Reduce Board Gender Diversity? Firm-Level Evidence from China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 136(2), pages 399-436, June.
    4. Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2014. "Understanding Urban Wage Inequality in China 1988–2008: Evidence from Quantile Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1-13.
    5. Chi, Wei & Li, Bo, 2008. "Glass ceiling or sticky floor? Examining the gender earnings differential across the earnings distribution in urban China, 1987-2004," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 243-263, June.
    6. Min Qin & James Brown & Sabu Padmadas & Li Bohua & Qi Jianan & Jane Falkingham, 2016. "Gender Inequalities in Employment and Wage-earning among Economic Migrants in Chinese Cities," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 34(6), pages 175-202, January.
    7. Chen, Zhihong & Ge, Ying & Lai, Huiwen & Wan, Chi, 2013. "Globalization and Gender Wage Inequality in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 256-266.
    8. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Zhang, Liqin, 2009. "Economic transition and gender differentials in wages and productivity: Evidence from Chinese manufacturing enterprises," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 144-156, January.
    9. repec:asi:aeafrj:2017:p:1075-1092 is not listed on IDEAS

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