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Are Women Taking over the Farm in China?

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan de Brauw, 2003. "Are Women Taking over the Farm in China?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2003-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2003-02
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    File URL: http://web.williams.edu/Economics/wp/debrauw_fem.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt, 2002. "Property rights, labour markets, and efficiency in a transition economy: the case of rural China," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 689-716, November.
    3. Mehra, Rekha & Gammage, Sarah, 1999. "Trends, Countertrends, and Gaps in Women's Employment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 533-550, March.
    4. Yang, Dennis Tao, 1997. "Education and Off-Farm Work," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(3), pages 613-632, April.
    5. de Brauw, Alan & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Zhang, Linxiu & Zhang, Yigang, 2002. "The Evolution of China's Rural Labor Markets During the Reforms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 329-353, June.
    6. Doss, Cheryl R., 1996. "Testing among models of intrahousehold resource allocation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1597-1609, October.
    7. 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.
    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. Lin, Justin Yifu, 1992. "Rural Reforms and Agricultural Growth in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 34-51, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Linxiu & de Brauw, Alan & Rozelle, Scott, 2004. "China's rural labor market development and its gender implications," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 230-247.
    2. Glauben, Thomas & Herzfeld, Thomas & Wang, Xiaobing, 2008. "Labor market participation of Chinese agricultural households: Empirical evidence from Zhejiang province," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 329-340, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Women; agriculture; China; farm labor;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets

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