Informal employment and its effect on the income distribution in urban China
This paper discusses the issue of informal employment and its effect on the income distribution in China using datasets from the China Urban Labour Surveys of 2005 and 2010. Based on a new definition of informal employment, we estimated the proportion of informal employment relative to total non-agricultural employment in urban China and found it to be 49.7% in 2005 and 40.3% in 2010. Meanwhile, our study illustrated that informal employees' earnings were 67% that of formal employees, and this large earnings gap raised the Gini coefficient to 0.42 in 2005. The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition result shows that the earnings gap explains more than half of the overall personal income inequality in urban China. These results indicate that informal employment has a significant effect on the income distribution in urban China. Consequently, regulating the labour market, eliminating job discriminations and legislating the informal employment should be considered as alternative means of reducing inequality in China.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cai, Fang & Wang, Meiyan, 2010. "Growth and structural changes in employment in transition China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 71-81, March.
- Krstic, Gorana & Sanfey, Peter, 2007. "Mobility, poverty and well-being among the informally employed in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 311-335, September.
- Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-920, July.
- Olivier Bargain & Prudence Kwenda, 2011. "Earnings Structures, Informal Employment, And Self‐Employment: New Evidence From Brazil, Mexico, And South Africa," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57, pages 100-122, 05.
- Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gustafsson, Bjorn & Shi, Li, 2001. "The Anatomy of Rising Earnings Inequality in Urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 118-135, March.
- Stefan Gravemeyer & Thomas Gries & Jinjun Xue, 2011. "Income Determination and Income Discrimination in Shenzhen," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 48(7), pages 1457-1475, May.
- John Bennett & Matthew D. Rablen, 2015.
"Self-employment, wage employment, and informality in a developing economy,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 227-244.
- John Bennett & Matthew Rablen, 2012. "Self-Employment, Wage Employment and Informality in a Developing Economy," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 12-02, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
- Bennett, John & Rablen, Matthew D., 2012. "Self-Employment, Wage Employment and Informality in a Developing Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 6406, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
- Angel-Urdinola, Diego F. & Tanabe, Kimie, 2012. "Micro-determinants of informal employment in the Middle East and North Africa region," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 66594, The World Bank.
- Quheng Deng & Shi Li, 2009. "What Lies behind Rising Earnings Inequality in Urban China? Regression-based Decompositions," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 55(3-4), pages 598-623.
- Deng Quheng & Li Shi, 2009. "What Lies behind Rising Earnings Inequality in Urban China? Regression-based Decompositions," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd08-021, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
- Gorana Krstić & Peter Sanfey, 2011. "Earnings inequality and the informal economy," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(1), pages 179-199, 01.
- Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, October.
- Rosser, J. Jr. & Rosser, Marina V. & Ahmed, Ehsan, 2000. "Income Inequality and the Informal Economy in Transition Economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 156-171, March.
- Jonathan Haughton & Shahidur R. Khandker, 2009. "Handbook on Poverty and Inequality," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11985. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:31:y:2014:i:c:p:84-93. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.