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How has Economic Restructuring Affected China???s Urban Workers?

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  • John Giles
  • Albert Park
  • Fang Cai

Abstract

Using data from the China Urban Labor Survey conducted in five large Chinese cities at year end 2001, we quantify the nature and magnitude of shocks to employment and worker benefits during the period of economic structuring from 1996 to 2001, and evaluate the extent to which adversely affected urban workers had access to public and private assistance. Employment shocks were large and widespread, and were particularly hard on older workers and women. Unemployment reached double digits in all sample cities and labor force participation declined by 8 percent. Urban residents faced modest levels of wage and pension arrears, and sharp declines in health benefits. Public assistance programs for dislocated workers had limited coverage, with most job-leavers relying upon private assistance to support consumption, mainly from other household members.

Suggested Citation

  • John Giles & Albert Park & Fang Cai, 2003. "How has Economic Restructuring Affected China???s Urban Workers?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-628, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2003-628
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    File URL: http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/40014/3/wp628.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yueping Song & Xiao-Yuan Dong, 2013. "Gender and Occupational Mobility in Urban China during the Economic Transition," Research in Labor Economics, in: Corrado Giulietti & Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Klaus F. Zimmermann (ed.), Labor Market Issues in China, volume 37, pages 93-122, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    2. Sylvie Dmurger & Martin Fournier & Li Shi & Wei Zhong, 2006. "Economic Liberalization with Rising Segmentation in China's Urban Labor Market," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 5(3), pages 58-101, Fall.
    3. Rod Tyers & Jane Golley, 2006. "China's Growth to 2030: Demographic Change and the Labour Supply Constraint," PGDA Working Papers 1106, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    4. John Giles & Albert Park & Meiyan Wang, 2019. "The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Disruptions to Education, and the Returns to Schooling in Urban China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(1), pages 131-164.
    5. Dennis Tao Yang & Vivian Weijia Chen & Ryan Monarch, 2010. "Rising Wages: Has China Lost Its Global Labor Advantage?," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 482-504, October.
    6. Hongbin Li & Mark Rosenzweig & Junsen Zhang, 2010. "Altruism, Favoritism, and Guilt in the Allocation of Family Resources: Sophie's Choice in Mao's Mass Send-Down Movement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-38, February.
    7. Gordon Betcherman & Niels-Hugo Blunch, 2008. "The limited job prospects of displaced workers: evidence from two cities in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 187-207, September.
    8. Meng, Xin & Gong, Xiaodong & Wang, Youjuan, 2004. "Impact of Income Growth and Economic Reform on Nutrition Intake in Urban China: 1986-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 1448, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Quheng, Deng, 2007. "Social Assistance Receipt and its Importance for Combating Poverty in Urban China," IZA Discussion Papers 2758, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Du, Juan, 2009. "Economic reforms and health insurance in China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 387-395, August.
    11. Jane Golley & Rod Tyers, 2006. "Demographic Change and the Labour Supply Constraint," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2006-467, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    12. Liu, Qian, 2012. "Unemployment and labor force participation in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 18-33.
    13. Yusuf, Shahid & Nabeshima, Kaoru & Wei Ha, 2007. "What makes cities healthy ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4107, The World Bank.
    14. Tian, Xinping & Gong, Jinquan & Zhang, Yueqiu, 2018. "The effects of job displacement on health: Evidence from the economic restructuring in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 136-150.
    15. Park, Albert & Wang, Dewen, 2010. "Migration and Urban Poverty and Inequality in China," IZA Discussion Papers 4877, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory & Guanghua Wan, 2006. "China Urban Poverty and its Contributing Factors, 1986-2000," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2006-133, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor; unemployment; China; restructuring;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General

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