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Economic Transition in China and Vietnam: Crossing the Poverty Line is Just the First Step for Women and Their Families


  • Gale Summerfield


This paper compares the changing strategies of women and their families during the economic transition in China and Vietnam. Employment strategies to improve the family' s well-being have resulted in increased rural-urban migration by men and young women, while middle-aged, married women remain in the countryside taking care of the farms and children. Although women have been able to take advantage of new opportunities for employment in nonstate firms and their own entrepreneurial endeavors, their employment strategies are limited by increasing discrimination in hiring and layoffs. Moreover, the policy problems play out within the family in changing bargaining power, including decisions about education and health care.

Suggested Citation

  • Gale Summerfield, 1997. "Economic Transition in China and Vietnam: Crossing the Poverty Line is Just the First Step for Women and Their Families," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(2), pages 201-214.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:55:y:1997:i:2:p:201-214
    DOI: 10.1080/00346769700000034

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    Cited by:

    1. Chaudhuri, Sanjukta, 2010. "Women's Empowerment in South Asia and Southeast Asia: A Comparative Analysis," MPRA Paper 19686, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    women; families; strategies; bargaining power;


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