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Decomposing wage differentials between migrant workers and urban workers in urban China's labor markets

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  • Lee, Leng

Abstract

This paper looks at wage discrimination faced by China's rural–urban migrants. Using data from the China Urban Labour Survey, it uses standard wage decomposition techniques to measure the extent wage gaps between migrants and locals are attributable to migration. Because the survey covers five cities, the results allow for an investigation regarding how much variation in discrimination there is. Unlike previous studies of wage discrimination in China, this research includes a more full measure of remuneration by including non-financial benefits as well as bonuses earned. The results suggest that migrants still face a significant amount of discrimination, but that this varies a lot between cities.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Leng, 2012. "Decomposing wage differentials between migrant workers and urban workers in urban China's labor markets," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 461-470.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:23:y:2012:i:2:p:461-470
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2012.03.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Meiyan Wang & Fang Cai, 2008. "Gender Earnings Differential in Urban China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 442-454, May.
    2. Chen, Yi & Demurger, Sylvie & Fournier, Martin, 2005. "Earnings Differentials and Ownership Structure in Chinese Enterprises," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 933-958, July.
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    5. Maurer-Fazio, Margaret & Hughes, James, 2002. "The Effects of Market Liberalization on the Relative Earnings of Chinese Women," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 709-731, December.
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    7. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Bowles, Paul, 2002. "Segmentation and discrimination in China's emerging industrial labor market," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 170-196.
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    10. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
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    12. Meng, Xin & Zhang, Junsen, 2001. "The Two-Tier Labor Market in Urban China: Occupational Segregation and Wage Differentials between Urban Residents and Rural Migrants in Shanghai," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 485-504, September.
    13. Meng, Xin, 1998. "Male-female wage determination and gender wage discrimination in China's rural industrial sector," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 67-89, March.
    14. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    15. 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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Li & Sharpe, Rhonda Vonshay & Li, Shi & Darity, William A., 2016. "Wage differentials between urban and rural-urban migrant workers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 222-233.
    2. Messinis, George, 2013. "Returns to education and urban-migrant wage differentials in China: IV quantile treatment effects," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 39-55.
    3. Song, Yang, 2014. "What should economists know about the current Chinese hukou system?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 200-212.
    4. Ha, Wei & Yi, Junjian & Yuan, Ye & Zhang, Junsen, 2016. "The dynamic effect of rural-to-urban migration on inequality in source villages: System GMM estimates from rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 27-39.
    5. repec:eee:chieco:v:47:y:2018:i:c:p:96-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:bla:revinw:v:63:y:2017:i:4:p:821-840 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:spr:ijlaec:v:59:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s41027-017-0054-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Zhu, Rong, 2016. "Wage differentials between urban residents and rural migrants in urban China during 2002–2007: A distributional analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 2-14.
    9. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1329-y is not listed on IDEAS
    10. LIU Yang & KAWATA Keisuke, 2015. "Labor Market and the Native-Immigrant Wage Gap: Evidence from urban China," Discussion papers 15142, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    11. Vahan Sargsyan, 2015. "Differential Treatment in the Chinese Labor Market. Is Hukou Type the Only Problem?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp548, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Discrimination; Wage; China;

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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