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Are Women Taking over the Farm in China?

Development practitioners in the West have proclaimed that a "feminization of agriculture" is occurring in the developing world. In this paper, I use household survey data collected in rural China to empirically test whether or not women have been doing an increasing amount of farmwork. I find exactly the opposite-- if anything, the proportion of farmwork being done by women is declining over the late 1990s. Furthermore, I analyze the demographic composition of the farm labor force and find that the future feminization of agriculture is unlikely.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2003-02.

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Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2003-02
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  1. Elizabeth Brainerd, 2000. "Women in transition: Changes in gender wage differentials in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 138-162, October.
  2. Doss, Cheryl R., 1996. "Testing among models of intrahousehold resource allocation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1597-1609, October.
  3. Yang, Dennis Tao, 1997. "Education and Off-Farm Work," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(3), pages 613-32, April.
  4. Dennis Tao Yang & Hao Zhou, 1999. "Rural-urban disparity and sectoral labour allocation in China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 105-133.
  5. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt, 2000. "Property Rights, Labor Markets, and Efficiency in a Transition Economy: The Case of Rural China," Working Papers benjamin-00-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  6. Mehra, Rekha & Gammage, Sarah, 1999. "Trends, Countertrends, and Gaps in Women's Employment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 533-550, March.
  7. Lin, Justin Yifu, 1992. "Rural Reforms and Agricultural Growth in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 34-51, March.
  8. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & Scott Rozelle, 1998. "Aging, Well-Being, And Social Security In Rural North China," Working Papers benjamin-98-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. de Brauw, Alan & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Zhang, Linxiu & Zhang, Yigang, 2002. "The Evolution Of China'S Rural Labor Markets During The Reforms," Working Papers 11984, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  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.
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