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Differential Treatment in the Chinese Labor Market. Is Hukou Type the Only Problem?

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  • Vahan Sargsyan

Abstract

Differential treatment towards minority groups in labor markets may be both a result of a governmental registration system that foster unequal rights based on the origins of individuals, and a result of a disadvantageous attitude of both local employers and the general population towards non-locals. We test for differential treatment in the Chinese labor market towards rural migrants with and without urban registration, using data from the Rural to Urban Migration Survey in China. The findings indicate that despite its often assumed large impact on the differential treatment towards rural migrants, the type of household registration (hukou) is not entirely responsible for the local-migrant differences in total hourly incomes which are not attributable to personal characteristics. The results suggest that even the complete abolishment of the hukou system may at most eliminate only a portion of the disadvantageous treatment towards rural female migrants which is not attributable to differences in personal characteristics, and may even have no measurable impact on rural male migrants working in the paid-employment sector in Chinese urban labor markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Vahan Sargsyan, 2015. "Differential Treatment in the Chinese Labor Market. Is Hukou Type the Only Problem?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp548, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp548
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    rural migrants; hukou registration; hukou conversion; unexplainable treatment; total hourly compensation;

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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