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Women's Employment and Family Income Inequality during China's Economic Transition

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Listed:
  • Sai Ding
  • Xiao-yuan Dong
  • Shi Li

Abstract

Economic reforms and trade liberalization have brought profound changes to the Chinese labor market. In this paper, we apply the technique of decomposing the coefficient of variation to examine the impact of changes in married women's employment and earnings on income inequality among Chinese urban households. Using the Chinese Household Income Surveys from 1988, 1995, and 2002, we explore the differences between two phases of economic transition: the gradualist reform period (1988-1995) and the radical reform period (1995-2002). Our analysis shows that the public-sector labor retrenchment of the late 1990s has led to a drastic decline in the employment rates of women, especially those married to low-earning husbands, and the change in women's employment was a major force driving income inequality in post-restructuring urban China.

Suggested Citation

  • Sai Ding & Xiao-yuan Dong & Shi Li, 2009. "Women's Employment and Family Income Inequality during China's Economic Transition," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 163-190.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:15:y:2009:i:3:p:163-190
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700802526541
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fan Gang & Maria Rosa Lunati & David O’Connor, 1998. "Labour Market Aspects of State Enterprise Reform in China," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 141, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ali T. Cem Başlevent, 2014. "Social Transfers and Income Inequality in Turkey: How Informative Is the Survey of Income and Living Conditions?," Ekonomi-tek - International Economics Journal, Turkish Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-42, September.
    2. Xiao-yuan Dong & Jin Feng & Yangyang Yu, 2014. "Relative Pay and its Underlying Determinants for Domestic Eldercare Workers in Urban China," Departmental Working Papers 2014-01, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.
    3. 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.
    4. Liu, Qian, 2012. "Unemployment and labor force participation in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 18-33.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; assortative mating; women's employment; China; JEL Codes: D13; J16; P21;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform

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