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Forced ruralisation of urban youth during Mao’s rule and women’s status in post-Mao China: an empirical study

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  • Shuchen, Liu
  • Deng, Kent
  • Shengmin, Sun

Abstract

This study uses data of “Chinese Household Income Project Survey 2002” to investigate long-term impact of Mao’s persistent policy of “forced/involuntary ruralisation of urban youth” (shangshan xiaxiang, literally “re-settlement in mountains and villages”) during the 1950s and 70s on women’s labour market participation and contribution to family incomes. Our results indicate that the impact of Mao’s forced ruralisation on female labour market participation can be positive (despite diminishing in size due to ageing). In addition, a change from positive to negative impact is largely determined by personal hardship under Maoism and its aftermath. Moreover, regarding female contribution to family incomes, our findings suggest that forcefully ruralised urban women have more bargaining power later in family finance. Our conclusion is that against all the odds Mao’s “forced ruralisation of urban youth” has improved family and societal positions of female victims in the post-Mao era as an unintended consequence of Maoism.

Suggested Citation

  • Shuchen, Liu & Deng, Kent & Shengmin, Sun, 2018. "Forced ruralisation of urban youth during Mao’s rule and women’s status in post-Mao China: an empirical study," Economic History Working Papers 90615, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:90615
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics

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