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The Effects of the State Sector on Wage Inequality in Urban China: 1988–2007

  • Xia, Qingjie


    (Peking University)

  • Song, Lina


    (University of Nottingham)

  • Li, Shi


    (Beijing Normal University)

  • Appleton, Simon


    (University of Nottingham)

This paper examines the effects of state sector domination on wage inequality in urban China. Using Chinese Household Income Project surveys, we conduct two exercises: with quantile regression analysis, we identify wage gaps across the distribution and over time; and we employ the Machado and Mata (2005) decomposition to investigate how urban wage inequality was affected by the changes in wage structure and employment share of the state sector. We find that since the radical state sector reforms designed to reduce over-staffing and improve efficiency since the late 1990s, urban wage gaps were narrowed due to the reduction of employment share in the state sector; the wage premium of the state sector in comparison with the non-state sector increased significantly; and changes in the wage structure of the labour market caused the rise in urban wage inequality.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7142.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, 2014, 12(1), 29-45
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7142
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  1. Roger Koenker & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Quantile Regression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 143-156, Fall.
  2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521121118 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Simon Appleton & John Knight & Lina Song & Qingjie Xia, 2004. "Contrasting paradigms: segmentation and competitiveness in the formation of the chinese labour market," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 185-205.
  4. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, July.
  6. Sara Rica & Juan Dolado & Vanesa Llorens, 2008. "Ceilings or floors? Gender wage gaps by education in Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 777-778, July.
  7. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  8. Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2005. "Has China crossed the river? The evolution of wage structure in urban China during reform and retrenchment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 644-663, December.
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  10. Qu, Zhaopeng (Frank) & Zhao, Zhong, 2008. "Urban-Rural Consumption Inequality in China from 1988 to 2002: Evidence from Quantile Regression Decomposition," IZA Discussion Papers 3659, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Barry Naughton, 2007. "The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640643, June.
  12. Koenker, Roger & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1982. "Robust Tests for Heteroscedasticity Based on Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 43-61, January.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521898102 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
  15. John Knight & Lina Song, 2003. "Increasing urban wage inequality in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(4), pages 597-619, December.
  16. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521444606 is not listed on IDEAS
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  19. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
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