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Foreign Direct Investment and Wage Inequality: Evidence from China


  • Chen, Zhihong
  • Ge, Ying
  • Lai, Huiwen


Summary This study provides micro-level evidence on the close link between foreign participation and wage inequality. We investigate the wage premium and the wage spillover effect of foreign-invested enterprises in the Chinese manufacturing sector. The results indicate a significant foreign premium in both wage and non-wage compensation. The presence of foreign and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan (HMT) investment results in a significantly negative spillover in terms the wage level in domestic firms, and discourages wage growth in such firms. Overall, the evidence suggests that exposure to foreign investment increases inter-enterprise wage inequality.

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  • Chen, Zhihong & Ge, Ying & Lai, Huiwen, 2011. "Foreign Direct Investment and Wage Inequality: Evidence from China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1322-1332, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:8:p:1322-1332

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    2. Rickne, Johanna, 2013. "Labor market conditions and social insurance in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 52-68.
    3. Mah Jai S., 2015. "The Effect of Foreign Direct Investment Inflows on Income Inequality: Evidence from China," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 15(4), pages 443-453, December.
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    5. Kanbur, Ravi & Wang, Yue & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2017. "The Great Chinese Inequality Turnaround," IZA Discussion Papers 10635, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Fu, Dahai & Wu, Yanrui, 2013. "Export wage premium in China's manufacturing sector: A firm level analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 182-196.
    7. Rajneesh Narula & André Pineli, 2016. "Multinational Enterprises and Economic Development in Host Countries: What We Know and What We Don’t Know," John H Dunning Centre for International Business Discussion Papers jhd-dp2016-01, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    8. Nathalie Chusseau & Joël Hellier, 2012. "Globalisation and Inequality: Where do we stand?," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 21(3-4), pages 7-34, November.
    9. repec:bla:ecopol:v:29:y:2017:i:3:p:209-236 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Rosanna Pittiglio & Filippo Reganati & Edgardo Sica, 2015. "Do Multinational Enterprises Push up the Wages of Domestic Firms in the Italian Manufacturing Sector?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83(3), pages 346-378, June.
    11. Jean-Louis COMBES & Christian EBEKE & Mathilde MAUREL, 2011. "Remittances and the Prevalence of Working Poor," Working Papers 201109, CERDI.
    12. Vladislav Spitsin & Aleksandr Mikhalchuk & Vladimir Zalmezh & Irina Antonova & Igor Tsekhanovsky & Valeriy Zadorozhnyi & Nataliya Shabaldina & Larisa Dorzheeva, 2016. "Comparison of Investment Activity of the Russian and Foreign Manufacturers: Case from Manufacturing of Transportation Vehicles," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(2), pages 484-491.
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    14. Sun, Sizhong & Anwar, Sajid, 2015. "Taxation of labour, product varieties and skilled–unskilled wage inequality: Short run versus long run," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 250-257.
    15. Fu, Dahai & Wu, Yanrui, 2011. "Exporting wage premium in the exporting sector: evidence from manufacturing firms in China," MPRA Paper 32721, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Drapkin, I. & Mariev, O. & Chukavina, K., 2015. "Inflow and Outflow Potentials of Foreign Direct Investment in the Russian Economy: Numerical Estimation Based on the Gravity Approach," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 75-95.
    17. Vandeplas, Anneleen, 2011. "Multinationals or Cooperatives: Does it Matter to Farmers? - A Study of the Dairy Sector in Punjab (India)," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 115545, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    18. Vladislav Spitsin & Aleksandr Mikhalchuk & Lubov Spitsina & Nataliya Tyuleneva & Darya Novoseltseva, 2016. "Social Results of Domestic and Foreign Firms: Case Manufacture of Transport Equipment in Russia," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(1), pages 147-153.
    19. Nie, Huihua & Jiang, Ting & Yang, Rudai, 2012. "A Review and Reflection on the Use and Abuse of Chinese Industrial Enterprises Database," MPRA Paper 50945, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Anwar, Sajid & Sun, Sizhong, 2012. "FDI and market entry/exit: Evidence from China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 487-498.
    21. Zhang, Jingjing, 2013. "Factor mobility and skilled–unskilled wage inequality in the presence of internationally traded product varieties," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 579-585.
    22. Anwar, Sajid & Sun, Sizhong, 2012. "Trade liberalisation, market competition and wage inequality in China's manufacturing sector," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1268-1277.
    23. Damien Cubizol, 2017. "Rebalancing in China: a taxation approach," Working Papers 1732, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    24. Theresa M. Greaney & Yao Li, 2013. "Trade, Foreign Direct Investment and Wage Inequality in China: A Heterogeneous Firms Approach," China Economic Policy Review (CEPR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(02), pages 1-49.
    25. Sheng, Liugang & Yang, Dennis T., 2017. "Offshoring and Wage Inequality: Theory and Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 10924, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).


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