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The Evolution of Gender Earnings Gaps and Discrimination in Urban China: 1988-1995

  • Sylvie DEMURGER

    ()

    (HIEBS, the University of Hong Kong and CNRS (France))

  • Martin FOURNIER

    ()

    (CEFC (Hong Kong))

  • CHEN Yi

    ()

    (CERDI, Université d’Auvergne (France))

This paper analyzes the impact of market liberalization on gender earnings differentials and discrimination against women in urban China at the beginning of the 90s. 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, 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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File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2006-23.pdf
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Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 23.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2006-23
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ecineq.org
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  1. 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.
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  3. Margaret Maurer-Fazio & James Hughes, 2002. "The Effects of Market Liberalization on the Relative Earnings of Chinese Women," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 460, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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  11. 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.
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  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Li, Haizheng, 2003. "Economic transition and returns to education in China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 317-328, June.
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