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Labor Market Distortions, Rural-Urban Inequality and the Opening of China’s Economy

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  • Zhai, Fan
  • Hertel, Thomas
  • Wang, Zhi

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of some key labor market reforms on rural-urban inequality and income distribution, using a household-disaggregated, recursive dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of China. We also explore how these factor market reforms interact with product market reforms currently underway as part of China’s WTO accession process. The simulation results show that the reforms in rural land rental market and Hukou system, as well as increasing off-farm labor mobility would reduce the urban-rural income ratio dramatically. Furthermore, the combination of WTO accession and factor market reforms improves both efficiency and equality significantly.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhai, Fan & Hertel, Thomas & Wang, Zhi, 2003. "Labor Market Distortions, Rural-Urban Inequality and the Opening of China’s Economy," GTAP Working Papers 1323, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  • Handle: RePEc:gta:workpp:1323
    Note: GTAP Working Paper No. 27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yinhua Mai & Xiujian Peng & Peter Dixon & Maureen Rimmer, 2014. "The economic effects of facilitating the flow of rural workers to urban employment in China," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(3), pages 619-642, August.
    2. Chen, Anping & Groenewold, Nicolaas, 2010. "Reducing regional disparities in China: An evaluation of alternative policies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 189-198, June.
    3. Yinhua Mai & Xiujian Peng, 2011. "Labour Market Reform, Rural Migration and Income Inequality in China - A Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers g-221, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    4. Zhai, Fan & Hertel, Thomas W., 2009. "Economic and Poverty Impacts of Agricultural, Trade and Factor Market Reforms in China," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 52787, World Bank.
    5. Anderson, Kym & Strutt, Anna, 2014. "Food security policy options for China: Lessons from other countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 50-58.
    6. Pi, Jiancai & Zhang, Pengqing, 2016. "Hukou system reforms and skilled-unskilled wage inequality in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 90-103.
    7. Justin Yifu Lin & Will Martin, 2010. "The financial crisis and its impacts on global agriculture," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(s1), pages 133-144, November.
    8. Li, Aijun & Zhang, Aizhen, 2012. "Will carbon motivated border tax adjustments function as a threat?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 81-90.
    9. Li, Ji Feng & Wang, Xin & Zhang, Ya Xiong, 2012. "Is it in China's interest to implement an export carbon tax?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 2072-2080.
    10. Ito, Junichi & Ni, Jing, 2013. "Capital deepening, land use policy, and self-sufficiency in China's grain sector," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 95-107.
    11. Mishra, Vinod & Smyth, Russell, 2015. "Estimating returns to schooling in urban China using conventional and heteroskedasticity-based instruments," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 166-173.
    12. Jing Cao, 2008. "A Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium Analysis of Environmental Taxation and "Rural-Urban" Migration Distrotions in China," EEPSEA Research Report rr2008011, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Jan 2008.
    13. Vennemo, Haakon & Aunan, Kristin & He, Jianwu & Hu, Tao & Li, Shantong & Rypd3al, Kristin, 2008. "Environmental impacts of China's WTO-accession," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 893-911, February.
    14. Anping Chen & Nicolaas Groenewold, 2011. "Regional Equality and National Development in China: Is There a Trade‐Off?," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 628-669, December.
    15. Lu, Zhigang & Song, Shunfeng, 2006. "Rural-urban migration and wage determination: The case of Tianjin, China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 337-345.
    16. Wang, Xiaobing, 2007. "Labor market behavior of Chinese rural households during transition," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 42, number 92321.
    17. Wei Zou & Yong Liu, 2010. "Skilled Labor, Economic Transition and Income Differences: A Dynamic Approach," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 11(2), pages 247-275, November.
    18. Gordon Anderson & Tongtong Hao & Maria Grazia Pittau, 2016. "Income Inequality, Family Formation and Generational Mobility in Urban China," Working Papers tecipa-563, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    19. Menzies, Gordon & Xiao, Sylvia Xiaolin & Dixon, Peter & Peng, Xiujian & Rimmer, Maureen, 2016. "Rural-led exchange rate appreciation in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 15-30.
    20. Lin, Justin Yifu & Martin, William J., 2009. "The Financial Crisis and Its Impact on the Global Agricultural Landscape," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 53208, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    21. Haakon Vennemo & Jianwu He & Shantong Li, 2014. "Macroeconomic Impacts of Carbon Capture and Storage in China," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 59(3), pages 455-477, November.
    22. Arvind Virmani, 2006. "China’s Socialist Market Economy - Lessons Of Success," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22274, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    23. Ying Liang & Yingying Yi & Qiufen Sun, 2014. "The Impact of Migration on Fertility under China’s Underlying Restrictions: A Comparative Study Between Permanent and Temporary Migrants," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 307-326, March.
    24. Yinhua Mai & Xiujian Peng & Peter B. Dixon & Maureen T. Rimmer, 2009. "The effects of facilitating the flow of rural workers to urban employment in China," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers g-188, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    25. Antonelli, Cristiano & Gehringer, Agnieszka, 2017. "Technological change, rent and income inequalities: A Schumpeterian approach," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 85-98.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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