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Economic transition and gender differentials in wages and productivity: Evidence from Chinese manufacturing enterprises

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  • Dong, Xiao-yuan
  • Zhang, Liqin

Abstract

We use firm-level data to analyze male-female wage differences in Chinese industry in the late 1990s. Our estimates indicate that employers' discrimination against women was not a significant source of the gender wage gap in Chinese state-owned enterprises. Instead, we find that the relative wage of unskilled female to male workers was higher than their relative productivity. This result indicates that unskilled female workers in the state sector had historically received wage premiums and consequently accounted for a disproportionate share of the sector's labor surplus.

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  • Dong, Xiao-yuan & Zhang, Liqin, 2009. "Economic transition and gender differentials in wages and productivity: Evidence from Chinese manufacturing enterprises," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 144-156, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:88:y:2009:i:1:p:144-156
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    Cited by:

    1. Rickne, Johanna, 2010. "Gender, Wages and Social Security in China’s Industrial Sector," Working Paper Series 2010:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Andrea Garnero & François Rycx & Isabelle Terraz, 2020. "Productivity and Wage Effects of Firm‐Level Collective Agreements: Evidence from Belgian Linked Panel Data," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 58(4), pages 936-972, December.
    3. Chen, Zhihong & Ge, Ying & Lai, Huiwen & Wan, Chi, 2013. "Globalization and Gender Wage Inequality in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 256-266.
    4. Xiang Wei & Emily Ma & Pengfei Wang, 2017. "Leisure participation patterns and gender wage gap—evidence from Chinese manufacturing industry," China Finance and Economic Review, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 1-16, December.
    5. Tsou, Meng-Wen & Yang, Chih-Hai, 2019. "Does gender structure affect firm productivity? Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 19-36.
    6. Dammert, Ana C. & Ural Marchand, Beyza & Wan, Chi, 2013. "Gender Wage-Productivity Differentials and Global Integration in China," IZA Discussion Papers 7159, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Cristian Bartolucci, 2010. "Understanding the Native-Immigrant Wage Gap Using Matched Employer-Employee Data. Evidence from Germany," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 150, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    8. Wei Bin Zhang, 2015. "Progressive Income Taxation and Economic Growth with Endogenous Labor Supply and Public Good," European Journal of Economics and Business Studies Articles, European Center for Science Education and Research, vol. 1, September.
    9. Chen, Yiu Por (Vincent) & Zhang, Yuan, 2018. "A decomposition method on employment and wage discrimination and its application in urban China (2002–2013)," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 1-12.
    10. Ana C. Dammert & Beyza Ural Marchand, 2015. "Privatization In China: Technology And Gender In The Manufacturing Sector," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 250-264, April.
    11. Melaku Abegaz & Gibson Nene, 2018. "Gender Wage and Productivity Gaps in the Manufacturing Industry. The Case of Ghana," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 37(3), pages 313-326, September.
    12. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Pandey, Manish, 2012. "Gender and labor retrenchment in Chinese state owned enterprises: Investigation using firm-level panel data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 385-395.
    13. Cheng, Wenya & Morrow, John, 2018. "Firm productivity differences from factor markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88357, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Liangshu Qi & Xiao-Yuan Dong, 2013. "Housework Burdens, Quality of Market Work Time, and Men’s and Women’s Earnings in China," Departmental Working Papers 2013-01, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    I30 J16 J21 J64 J71 O10 R20 Gender wage discrimination Economic transition China;

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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