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Gender and Occupational Mobility in Urban China during the Economic Transition


  • Yueping Song


  • Xiao-yuan Dong



This paper examines the gender patterns of occupational mobility in post-reform Urban China using a national representative dataset. The results reveal marked differences between married men and women: women are more likely than men to undergo lateral or downward occupational changes, but are less likely to experience upward mobility. The results also show that the public-sector restructuring has increased the incidence of downward occupational mobility, more for women than men. The analysis suggests that women are disadvantaged in the occupational mobility process by a variety of social and institutional factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Yueping Song & Xiao-yuan Dong, 2011. "Gender and Occupational Mobility in Urban China during the Economic Transition," Departmental Working Papers 2011-01, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:win:winwop:2011-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 76-108, Part II, .
    2. Datcher, Linda, 1983. "The Impact of Informal Networks of Quit Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 491-495, August.
    3. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2009. "Labor restructuring in China: Toward a functioning labor market," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 287-305, June.
    4. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Bowles, Paul, 2002. "Segmentation and discrimination in China's emerging industrial labor market," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 170-196.
    5. Faggio, Giulia & Konings, Jozef, 1999. "Gross Job Flows and Firm Growth in Transition Countries: Evidence Using Firm Level Data on Five Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
    7. 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.
    8. Sabirianova, Klara Z., 2002. "The Great Human Capital Reallocation: A Study of Occupational Mobility in Transitional Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 191-217, March.
    9. Jozef Konings & Patrick Paul Walsh, 1999. "Disorganization in the process of transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(1), pages 29-46, March.
    10. Liqin Zhang & Xiao-Yuan Dong, 2008. "Male-female wage discrimination in Chinese industry," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(1), pages 85-112, January.
    11. Krowas, John C., 1993. "Time-dependent changes in gender-based promotion differences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 87-90.
    12. Giles, John & Park, Albert & Cai, Fang, 2006. "Reemployment of dislocated workers in urban China: The roles of information and incentives," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 582-607, September.
    13. Simon, Curtis J & Warner, John T, 1992. "Matchmaker, Matchmaker: The Effect of Old Boy Networks on Job Match Quality, Earnings, and Tenure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 306-330, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rickne, Johanna, 2010. "Gender, Wages, and Social Security in China’s Industrial Sector," Working Paper Series 827, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    2. Nuno Crespo & Nadia Simoes & Sandrina B. Moreira, 2014. "Gender differences in occupational mobility - evidence from Portugal," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 460-481, July.
    3. repec:ilo:ilowps:487966 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dasgupta, Sukti. & Matsumoto, Makiko. & Xia, Cuntao., 2015. "Women in the labour market in China," ILO Working Papers 994879663402676, International Labour Organization.

    More about this item


    Occupational mobility; Gender; Economic transition; Social networks;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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