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Labor market distortions, rural-urban inequality and the opening of China's economy

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  • Hertel, Thomas
  • Zhai, Fan

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of some key labor market reforms on rural-urban inequality and income distribution, using a household-disaggregated, recursive dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of China. We also explore how these factor market reforms interact with product market reforms currently underway as part of China’s WTO accession process. The simulation results show that the reforms in rural land rental market and Hukou system, as well as increasing off-farm labor mobility would reduce the urban-rural income ratio dramatically. Furthermore, the combination of WTO accession and factor market reforms improves both efficiency and equality significantly.
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Suggested Citation

  • Hertel, Thomas & Zhai, Fan, 2006. "Labor market distortions, rural-urban inequality and the opening of China's economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 76-109, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:23:y:2006:i:1:p:76-109
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    1. John Whalley & Shunming Zhang, 2004. "Inequality Change in China and (Hukou) Labour Mobility Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 10683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Yaohui Zhao, 1999. "Leaving the Countryside: Rural-to-Urban Migration Decisions in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 281-286, May.
    3. Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2001. "Fifty Years Of Regional Inequality In China: A Journey Through Revolution, Reform And Openness," Working Papers 7236, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    4. William L. Parish & Xiaoye Zhe & Fang Li, "undated". "Nonfarm Work and Marketization of the Chinese Countryside," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 95-6, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    5. Anderson, Kym & Huang, Jikun & Ianchovichina, Elena, 2004. "Will China's WTO accession worsen farm household incomes?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 443-456.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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