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Wages, participation and unemployment in the economic transition of urban China

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  • Jun Han
  • Junsen Zhang

Abstract

Wages, participation and unemployment are major topics for researchers of the labour market. How have these measures evolved in the economic transition of urban China? Have they evolved in accordance with those in the Statistical Yearbook of China (produced by the National Bureau of Statistics, China) and previous studies? We find that the estimated wage level based on Urban Household Survey (UHS) data was higher than that in the Statistical Yearbook in earlier years, but the relationship has reversed since 1999. Our estimated participation rate is lower than that of Giles "et al." (2006) but higher than Dong "et al." (2007) and Maurer-Fazio "et al." (2007) . The analysis shows that the unemployment rate is lower than that estimated with the China Urban Labor Survey data in Giles "et al." (2005) . Our estimation results on unemployment rates turn out to be more similar to those in Dong "et al." (2007) but are different from those in Hu and Sheng (2007). This analysis provides the first systematic comparison of the wage level from different sources, and supplements the existing estimates on participation and unemployment using a more representative dataset for urban China. Copyright (c) 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2010 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Suggested Citation

  • Jun Han & Junsen Zhang, 2010. "Wages, participation and unemployment in the economic transition of urban China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 18(3), pages 513-538, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:18:y:2010:i:3:p:513-538
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Margaret Maurer-Fazio & James Hughes & Dandan Zhang, 2007. "An Ocean formed from one hundred rivers: the effects of ethnicity, gender, marriage, and location on labor force participation in urban China," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3-4), pages 159-187.
    2. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 1998. "Winners and Losers in Russia's Economic Transition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1094-1116, December.
    3. Swati Basu & Saul Estrin & Jan Svejnar, 2005. "Employment Determination in Enterprises under Communism and in Transition: Evidence from Central Europe," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 353-369, April.
    4. Junsen Zhang & Jun Han & Pak-Wai Liu & Yaohui Zhao, 2008. "Trends in the Gender Earnings Differential in Urban China, 1988–2004," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(2), pages 224-243, January.
    5. Zhang, Junsen & Zhao, Yaohui & Park, Albert & Song, Xiaoqing, 2005. "Economic returns to schooling in urban China, 1988 to 2001," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 730-752, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhen Zeng & Yu Xie, 2014. "The Effects of Grandparents on Children’s Schooling: Evidence From Rural China," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(2), pages 599-617, April.

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