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An Ocean formed from one hundred rivers: the effects of ethnicity, gender, marriage, and location on labor force participation in urban China

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  • Margaret Maurer-Fazio
  • James Hughes
  • Dandan Zhang

Abstract

This paper analyzes changes in labor force participation rates over time for gender- and ethnicity-differentiated groups in urban China. From 1990 to 2000, urban labor force participation rates fell substantially with women's rates declining more rapidly than men's and minority women's declining more rapidly than Han women's. Women's labor force participation is determined by a complex interaction of often gendered economic, demographic, and cultural factors that vary considerably by ethnic group. This analysis employs probit regression techniques to census data to explore possible explanations for the observed changes. This paper focuses on five of China's larger ethnic groups: the Han, Hui, Korean, Uygur, and Zhuang. Although many of the findings differ by ethnic group, for married women there is evidence of a return to more traditional expectations about gendered household roles that is consistent across groups. The research techniques also uncover evidence of discrimination against men of certain ethnic groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Margaret Maurer-Fazio & James Hughes & Dandan Zhang, 2007. "An Ocean formed from one hundred rivers: the effects of ethnicity, gender, marriage, and location on labor force participation in urban China," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3-4), pages 159-187.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:13:y:2007:i:3-4:p:159-187
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700701439424
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Margaret Maurer-Fazio & James Hughes & Dandan Zhang, 2005. "Economic Reform and Changing Patterns of Labor Force Participation in Urban and Rural China," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp787, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hare, Denise, 2016. "What accounts for the decline in labor force participation among married women in urban China, 1991–2011?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 251-266.
    2. 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.
    3. Margaret Maurer-Fazio & Rachel Connelly & Lan Chen & Lixin Tang, 2011. "Childcare, Eldercare, and Labor Force Participation of Married Women in Urban China, 1982–2000," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(2), pages 261-294.
    4. Margaret Maurer-Fazio & James W. Hughes & Dandan Zhang, 2010. "A comparison and decomposition of reform-era labor force participation rates of China's ethnic minorities and Han majority," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 138-162, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Margaret Maurer-Fazio, 2012. "Ethnic discrimination in China's internet job board labor market," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-24, December.
    7. repec:ksp:journ6:v:4:y:2017:i:4:p:381-387 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jun Han & Junsen Zhang, 2010. "Wages, participation and unemployment in the economic transition of urban China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 18(3), pages 513-538, July.
    9. Connelly, Rachel & Maurer-Fazio, Margaret & Zhang, Dandan, 2014. "The Role of Coresidency with Adult Children in the Labor Force Participation Decisions of Older Men and Women in China," IZA Discussion Papers 8068, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Jiaping Wu, 2014. "The Rise of Ethnicity under China's Market Reforms," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 967-984, May.
    11. Maurer-Fazio, Margaret & Wang, Sili, 2018. "Does Marital Status Affect How Firms Interpret Job Applicants' Un/Employment Histories?," IZA Discussion Papers 11363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; ethnic minority; gender; labor force participation; WTO; JEL Codes: J15; J21; O53;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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