The Effects of Market Liberalization on the Relative Earnings of Chinese Women
In this paper we first explore the effects of differences in labor market institutions and the degree of market liberalization on the size and composition of gender wages gaps in China's urban labor markets. We use enterprise-ownership type, enterprise age, and workers' methods of finding employment as proxies for the extent of market liberalization. We find both the size of the wage gaps and the proportion of the gap left unexplained by differences in productive characteristics largest in the most liberalized (joint venture) sector, and smallest in the least liberalized (state) sector. We next investigate the effects of differences in wage structure on the gender wage gaps. We find that differences in wage structure, in general, and the degree of wage dispersion, in particular, are extremely important in accounting for the larger wage gaps in the joint venture and collective sectors relative to the state-owned sector.
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