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A Distributional Analysis of the Gender Earnings Gap in Urban China

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  • Millimet Daniel L

    () (Southern Methodist University)

  • Wang Le

    () (Southern Methodist University)

Abstract

We compare several income distributions in urban China in the late 1980s and mid-1990s using tests for stochastic dominance in order to decompose gender differentials. Examination of the entire distribution gives insight into the uniformity of such differentials across the distribution. Moreover, tests based on stochastic dominance allow for robust welfare comparisons. Our analysis reveals: (i) large and increasing differentials in predicted earnings across gender in the lower tail of the distribution, but few differences in the upper tail, (ii) discrimination explains one-third to one-half of the total predicted earnings differential in the lower tail of the distribution, and little of the disparity in the upper tail, (iii) gender equity has eroded during China's economic transition, particularly for the youngest cohort, and (iv) significant nonuniformities in earnings differentials suggest the need to broaden analyses of gender differentials to incorporate earnings dispersion.

Suggested Citation

  • Millimet Daniel L & Wang Le, 2006. "A Distributional Analysis of the Gender Earnings Gap in Urban China," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-50, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:contributions.5:y:2006:i:1:n:5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ekaterina Selezneva & Philippe Van Kerm, 2013. "Inequality-adjusted gender wage differentials in Germany," Working Papers 334, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    2. Azam, Mehtabul, 2012. "Changes in Wage Structure in Urban India, 1983–2004: A Quantile Regression Decomposition," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1135-1150.
    3. Esfandiar Maasoumi & Almas Heshmati, 2013. "Analysis of Stochastic Dominance Ranking of Chinese Income Distributions by Household Attributes," Emory Economics 1308, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    4. Rickne, Johanna, 2010. "Gender, Wages, and Social Security in China’s Industrial Sector," Working Paper Series 827, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    5. Le Wang, 2013. "How Does Education Affect the Earnings Distribution in Urban China?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(3), pages 435-454, June.
    6. Ekaterina Selezneva & Philippe Van Kerm, 2016. "A distribution-sensitive examination of the gender wage gap in Germany," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 14(1), pages 21-40, March.
    7. Philippe Van Kerm, 2013. "Generalized measures of wage differentials," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 465-482, August.
    8. Zheng Fang & Chris Sakellariou, 2015. "Glass Ceilings versus Sticky Floors: Evidence from Southeast Asia and an International Update," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 215-242, September.
    9. Lai, Fang, 2010. "Are boys left behind? The evolution of the gender achievement gap in Beijing's middle schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 383-399, June.
    10. Wang, Le, 2012. "Economic transition and college premium in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 238-252.
    11. Esfandiar Maasoumi & Le Wang, 2013. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Measurement and Analysis," Emory Economics 1305, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    12. Lin Xiu & Morley Gunderson, 2013. "Credential Effects and the Returns to Education in China," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(2), pages 225-248, June.
    13. Liu, Qian, 2012. "Unemployment and labor force participation in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 18-33.

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