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Geographical Location of Foreign Direct Investment and Wage Inequality in China


  • Alyson C. Ma


This paper examines the relationships between distance and the transportation costs of international trade on the location-specific effects of foreign direct invest-ment and provincial per capita income in China. Applying the economic geography model proposed by Redding and Venables (2004), it traces the increasing wage inequality among the coastal and inland provinces by focusing on the distance of foreign-owned firms from access to international markets and to suppliers of intermediate inputs. First, a gravity-type equation is used to construct the 'market access' and 'supplier access' variables. Then, the effect of market and supplier access on provincial wage rates is estimated. The results indicate that distance does affect international trade and geography explains roughly one-third of the wage differential. Greater market access increases the provincial wage gap, while larger supplier access increases the wage difference in trade destined for the foreign market but decreases the wage difference in trade targeted for the domestic market. Similar findings also result from applying the estimations to two local firm types: state-owned enterprises and collective-owned enterprises. Copyright 2006 The Author Journal compilation 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Alyson C. Ma, 2006. "Geographical Location of Foreign Direct Investment and Wage Inequality in China," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(8), pages 1031-1055, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:29:y:2006:i:8:p:1031-1055

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mah, Jai S., 2013. "Globalization, decentralization and income inequality: The case of China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 653-658.
    2. Frank Bickenbach & Wan-Hsin Liu & Peter Nunnenkamp, 2015. "Regional concentration of FDI in post-reform India: A district-level analysis," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(5), pages 660-695, August.
    3. Juárez Rivera Carmen Guadalupe & Ángeles Castro Gerardo, 2013. "Foreign direct investment in Mexico Determinants and its effect on income inequality," Contaduría y Administración, Accounting and Management, vol. 58(4), pages 201-222, octubre-d.
    4. Hering, Laura & Poncet, Sandra, 2009. "The impact of economic geography on wages: Disentangling the channels of influence," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-14, March.
    5. Shima'a Hanafy, 2015. "Patterns of Foreign Direct Investment in Egypt—Descriptive Insights from a Novel Panel Dataset at the Governorate Level," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201512, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    6. Anwar, Sajid & Sun, Sizhong, 2012. "Trade liberalisation, market competition and wage inequality in China's manufacturing sector," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1268-1277.
    7. repec:eee:chieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:97-109 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jian Wang & Junqian Xu, 2015. "Home market effect, spatial wages disparity: an empirical reinvestigation of China," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 55(2), pages 313-333, December.
    9. Bosker, Maarten & Brakman, Steven & Garretsen, Harry & Schramm, Marc, 2012. "Relaxing Hukou: Increased labor mobility and China’s economic geography," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 252-266.
    10. Alyson C. Ma & Ari Van Assche & Chang Hong, 2010. "Global Production Networks and the People’s Republic of China’s Processing Trade," Working Papers id:3041, eSocialSciences.
    11. Ma, Alyson C. & Van Assche, Ari & Hong, Chang, 2009. "Global production networks and China's processing trade," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 640-654, November.

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