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The Evolution of Gender Earnings Gaps and Discrimination in Urban China, 1988-95

  • Sylvie Démurger

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I, GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)

  • Martin Fournier

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I, GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)

  • Yi Chen

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

This paper analyzes the impact of market liberalization on gender earnings differentials and discrimination against women in urban China at the beginning of the 1990s. The observed stability in the overall gender earnings gap between 1988 and 1995 is shown to result from a complex set of evolutions across enterprises, earnings distributions, and time. Our results highlight the interplay of opposing forces, with economic reforms contributing to changes in managers' behaviors in different dimensions. On the one hand, by bringing more competition, liberalization favored a reduction in discriminating behaviors in both urban collectives and foreign-invested enterprises; on the other hand, by relaxing institutional rules, it led to a loosening of the government's egalitarian wage-setting policies, leaving more space for discrimination in state-owned enterprises.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00138124.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Publication status: Published, The Developing Economies, 2007, XLV, 1, 97-121
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00138124
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00138124/en/
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  1. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Bowles, Paul, 2002. "Segmentation and discrimination in China's emerging industrial labor market," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 170-196.
  2. Loren BRANDT & Carsten A HOLZ, 2005. "Spatial Price Differences in China: Estimates and Implications," Development and Comp Systems 0504010, EconWPA.
  3. John A. Bishop & Feijun Luo & Fang Wang, 2005. "Economic transition, gender bias, and the distribution of earnings in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(2), pages 239-259, 04.
  4. Björn Gustafsson & Shi Li, 2000. "Economic transformation and the gender earnings gap in urban China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 305-329.
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  7. Dong, Xiao-Yuan & MacPhail, Fiona & Bowles, Paul & Ho, Samuel P. S., 2004. "Gender Segmentation at Work in China's Privatized Rural Industry: Some Evidence from Shandong and Jiangsu," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 979-998, June.
  8. Xin Meng & Junsen Zhang & Pak-Wai Liu, 2000. "Sectoral gender wage differentials and discrimination in the transitional Chinese economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 331-352.
  9. Samuel P.S. Ho & Xiao-Yuan Dong & Paul Bowles & Fiona MacPhail, 2002. "Privatization and enterprise wage structures during transition: Evidence from rural industry in china," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 10(3), pages 659-688, November.
  10. Maurer-Fazio, Margaret & Hughes, James, 2002. "The Effects of Market Liberalization on the Relative Earnings of Chinese Women," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 709-731, December.
  11. Francine D. Blau & Andrea H. Beller, 1988. "Trends in earnings differentials by gender, 1971û1981," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(4), pages 513-529, July.
  12. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  13. Li, Haizheng, 2003. "Economic transition and returns to education in China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 317-328, June.
  14. Chen, Yi & Demurger, Sylvie & Fournier, Martin, 2005. "Earnings Differentials and Ownership Structure in Chinese Enterprises," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 933-58, July.
  15. Meng, Xin, 1998. "Male-female wage determination and gender wage discrimination in China's rural industrial sector," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 67-89, March.
  16. Meng, Xin & Miller, Paul, 1995. "Occupational Segregation and Its Impact on Gender Wage Discrimination in China's Rural Industrial Sector," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 136-55, January.
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