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The Effects of Market Liberalization on the Relative Earnings of Chinese Women

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  • Margaret Maurer-Fazio

    ()

  • James Hughes

    ()

Abstract

In this paper we first explore the effects of differences in labor market institutions and the degree of market liberalization on the size and composition of gender wages gaps in China's urban labor markets. We use enterprise-ownership type, enterprise age, and workers' methods of finding employment as proxies for the extent of market liberalization. We find both the size of the wage gaps and the proportion of the gap left unexplained by differences in productive characteristics largest in the most liberalized (joint venture) sector, and smallest in the least liberalized (state) sector. We next investigate the effects of differences in wage structure on the gender wage gaps. We find that differences in wage structure, in general, and the degree of wage dispersion, in particular, are extremely important in accounting for the larger wage gaps in the joint venture and collective sectors relative to the state-owned sector.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2002-460
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chen, Jian & Fleisher, Belton M., 1996. "Regional Income Inequality and Economic Growth in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 141-164, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; gender wage gap; labor; market liberalization; earnings;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • P23 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population

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