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Ownership and earnings inequality in urban China

  • Jin Song

    ()

  • Shi Li

    ()

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Along with advances in urban state-owned enterprise reform, fast growth of private sector and changes in the wage structure, earnings inequality in urban China has been increasing. Using data from the 1988 and 2007 waves of the urban household survey conducted by China Household Income Project, this paper attempts to examine the impact of the change in ownership structure on earnings distribution in urban China. We find that developing non-state-owned enterprises (nonSOEs) or privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) enlarge earnings inequality, but the difference in earnings level between the two sectors is small. Although workers in SOEs receive higher income than in nonSOEs, the difference is more caused by endowment difference rather than coefficient differences. Introducing market power to wage determination system is more influential to the rising earnings inequality which leads more rewards on working experience and educational attainment.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11459-010-0114-0
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Frontiers of Economics in China.

Volume (Year): 5 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 582-603

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Handle: RePEc:spr:frecch:v:5:y:2010:i:4:p:582-603
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  1. 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.
  2. Jonathan Morduch & Terry Sicular, 1998. "Rethinking Inequality Decomposition, with Evidence from Rural China," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1831, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Loren Brandt & Carsten A. Holz, 2006. "Spatial Price Differences in China: Estimates and Implications," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 43-86.
  4. John Knight & Lina Song, 2003. "Increasing urban wage inequality in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(4), pages 597-619, December.
  5. Chen, Yi & Demurger, Sylvie & Fournier, Martin, 2005. "Earnings Differentials and Ownership Structure in Chinese Enterprises," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 933-58, July.
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