IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/638.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trade Liberalization and the Gender Employment Gap in China

Author

Listed:
  • Wang, Feicheng
  • Kis-Katos, Krisztina
  • Zhou, Minghai

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of import liberalization induced labor demand shocks on male and female employment in China. Combining data from population and firm censuses between 1990 and 2005, we relate prefecture-level employment by gender to the exposure to tariff reductions on locally imported products. Our empirical results show that increasing import competition has kept more females in the workforce, reducing an otherwise growing gender employment gap in the long run. These dynamics were present both in local economies as a whole and among formal private industrial firms. Examining channels through which tariff reductions differentially affect males and females, we find that trade-induced competitive pressures contributed to a general expansion of female-intensive industries, a shift in sectoral gender segregation, reductions in gender discrimination in the labor market, technological upgrading through computerization, and general income growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Feicheng & Kis-Katos, Krisztina & Zhou, Minghai, 2020. "Trade Liberalization and the Gender Employment Gap in China," GLO Discussion Paper Series 638, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:638
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/223048/1/GLO-DP-0638.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stephan Klasen, 2019. "What Explains Uneven Female Labor Force Participation Levels and Trends in Developing Countries?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 34(2), pages 161-197.
    2. Amiti, Mary & Cameron, Lisa, 2012. "Trade Liberalization and the Wage Skill Premium: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 277-287.
    3. Dongshu Ou & Zhong Zhao, 2022. "Higher Education Expansion in China, 1999–2003: Impact on Graduate Employability," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 30(2), pages 117-141, March.
    4. Hare, Denise, 2016. "What accounts for the decline in labor force participation among married women in urban China, 1991–2011?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 251-266.
    5. Sandra E. Black & Elizabeth Brainerd, 2004. "Importing Equality? The Impact of Globalization on Gender Discrimination," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(4), pages 540-559, July.
    6. Chen, Zhihong & Ge, Ying & Lai, Huiwen & Wan, Chi, 2013. "Globalization and Gender Wage Inequality in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 256-266.
    7. Genthner, Robert & Kis-Katos, Krisztina, 2019. "Foreign investment regulation and firm productivity: Granular evidence from Indonesia," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 345, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    8. Chen, Xi & Ge, Suqin, 2018. "Social norms and female labor force participation in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 966-987.
    9. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle.
    10. Chi, Wei & Li, Bo, 2014. "Trends in China’s gender employment and pay gap: Estimating gender pay gaps with employment selection," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 708-725.
    11. Krisztina Kis-Katos & Janneke Pieters & Robert Sparrow, 2018. "Globalization and Social Change: Gender-Specific Effects of Trade Liberalization in Indonesia," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 66(4), pages 763-793, December.
    12. Kis-Katos, Krisztina & Sparrow, Robert, 2015. "Poverty, labor markets and trade liberalization in Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 94-106.
    13. Yi Lu Jr. & Linhui Yu Jr., 2015. "Trade Liberalization and Markup Dispersion: Evidence from China's WTO Accession," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 221-253, October.
    14. Stephan Klasen & Janneke Pieters, 2015. "What Explains the Stagnation of Female Labor Force Participation in Urban India?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(3), pages 449-478.
    15. Sarra Ben Yahmed & Pamela Bombarda, 2020. "Gender, Informal Employment and Trade Liberalization in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 34(2), pages 259-283.
    16. Dave Donaldson & Adam Storeygard, 2016. "The View from Above: Applications of Satellite Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 171-198, Fall.
    17. Nicholas Bloom & Mirko Draca & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Trade Induced Technical Change? The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation, IT and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(1), pages 87-117.
    18. Margaret Maurer-Fazio & Rachel Connelly & Lan Chen & Lixin Tang, 2011. "Childcare, Eldercare, and Labor Force Participation of Married Women in Urban China, 1982–2000," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(2), pages 261-294.
    19. Mary Borrowman & Stephan Klasen, 2020. "Drivers of Gendered Sectoral and Occupational Segregation in Developing Countries," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2), pages 62-94, April.
    20. J. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2012. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 994-1028, April.
    21. Li, Jie & Lu, Yi & Song, Hong & Xie, Huihua, 2019. "Long-term impact of trade liberalization on human capital formation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 946-961.
    22. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2016. "The Surprisingly Swift Decline of US Manufacturing Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1632-1662, July.
    23. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 2002. "Market Forces and Sex Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 353-380.
    24. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767.
    25. de Bruin, Anne & Liu, Na, 2020. "The urbanization-household gender inequality nexus: Evidence from time allocation in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    26. Li, Bingjing, 2018. "Export expansion, skill acquisition and industry specialization: evidence from china," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 346-361.
    27. Xin Meng, 2012. "Labor Market Outcomes and Reforms in China," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 75-102, Fall.
    28. Isis Gaddis & Janneke Pieters, 2017. "The Gendered Labor Market Impacts of Trade Liberalization: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(2), pages 457-490.
    29. Rafael Dix-Carneiro & Brian K. Kovak, 2017. "Trade Liberalization and Regional Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(10), pages 2908-2946, October.
    30. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 39-82, March.
    31. Liang, Zhe & Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina, 2016. "Informal Employment in China: Trends, Patterns and Determinants of Entry," IZA Discussion Papers 10139, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    32. Liao, Chuan & Fei, Ding, 2019. "Poverty reduction through photovoltaic-based development intervention in China: Potentials and constraints," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 1-10.
    33. Brian K. Kovak, 2013. "Regional Effects of Trade Reform: What Is the Correct Measure of Liberalization?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1960-1976, August.
    34. Chen, Bo & Yu, Miaojie & Yu, Zhihao, 2017. "Measured skill premia and input trade liberalization: Evidence from Chinese firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 31-42.
    35. Han, Jun & Liu, Runjuan & Zhang, Junsen, 2012. "Globalization and wage inequality: Evidence from urban China," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 288-297.
    36. Facchini, Giovanni & Liu, Maggie Y. & Mayda, Anna Maria & Zhou, Minghai, 2019. "China's “Great Migration”: The impact of the reduction in trade policy uncertainty," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 126-144.
    37. Ma, Hong & Qiao, Xue & Xu, Yuan, 2015. "Job creation and job destruction in China during 1998–2007," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 1085-1100.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Yu, Zhen & Wu, Xiaoling & Li, Meng & Guo, Rufei, 2021. "Import competition and the gender gap in labor force participation: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    2. Wang, Feicheng & Liang, Zhe & Lehmann, Hartmut, 2021. "Import competition and informal employment: Empirical evidence from China," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 426, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    3. Giorgia Giovannetti & Marco Sanfilippo & Arianna Vivoli, 2021. "Trade liberalization, employment, and gender in Ethiopia," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2021-59, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Yu, Zhen & Wu, Xiaoling & Li, Meng & Guo, Rufei, 2021. "Import competition and the gender gap in labor force participation: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    2. Wang, Feicheng & Liang, Zhe & Lehmann, Hartmut, 2021. "Import Competition and Informal Employment: Empirical Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 14650, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Krisztina Kis-Katos & Janneke Pieters & Robert Sparrow, 2018. "Globalization and Social Change: Gender-Specific Effects of Trade Liberalization in Indonesia," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 66(4), pages 763-793, December.
    4. Genthner, Robert & Kis-Katos, Krisztina, 2020. "Local labor market effects of FDI regulation in Indonesia," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224524, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Ashmita Gupta, 2021. "Effect of Trade Liberalization on Gender Inequality: The Case of India," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 69(4), pages 682-720, December.
    6. Connolly, Laura, 2022. "The effects of a trade shock on gender-specific labor market outcomes in Brazil," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    7. Lihua Dai & Qi Fan & Yanyun Li & Faqin Lin, 2021. "No time to look after the kids: The unintended consequences of export expansion on child health," Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 29(3), pages 527-548, July.
    8. Sarra Ben Yahmed & Pamela Bombarda, 2020. "Gender, Informal Employment and Trade Liberalization in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 34(2), pages 259-283.
    9. Zhou, Yonghong & Zheng, Xian & Yuan, Ziqing, 2022. "Trade liberalization and wages: Evidence from the closer economic partnership arrangement between mainland China and Hong Kong," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    10. Mansour, Hani & Medina, Pamela & Velasquez, Andrea, 2020. "Import Competition and Gender Differences in Labor Reallocation," IZA Discussion Papers 13608, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Dai, Mi & Huang, Wei & Zhang, Yifan, 2021. "How do households adjust to tariff liberalization? Evidence from China's WTO accession," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    12. Guilherme Hirata & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2018. "Competition and the Racial Wage Gap: Testing Becker’s Model of Employer Discrimination," Documentos de Trabajo LACEA 016196, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA.
    13. Hani Mansour & Pamela Medina & Andrea Velásquez, 2022. "Import Competition and Gender Differences in Labor Reallocation," CESifo Working Paper Series 9639, CESifo.
    14. Dai, Mi & Huang, Wei & Zhang, Yifan, 2020. "Persistent effects of initial labor market conditions: The case of China's tariff liberalization after WTO accession," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 566-581.
    15. Facchini, Giovanni & Liu, Maggie Y. & Mayda, Anna Maria & Zhou, Minghai, 2019. "China's “Great Migration”: The impact of the reduction in trade policy uncertainty," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 126-144.
    16. Basco, Sergi & Liegey, Maxime & Mestieri, Martí & Smagghue, Gabriel, 2020. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Trade across Occupations: A Test of the Stolper-Samuelson Theorem," CEPR Discussion Papers 15186, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Laura Barros & Manuel Santos Silva, 2019. "#EleNão: Economic crisis, the political gender gap, and the election of Bolsonaro," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 242, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    18. Hirata, Guilherme & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2020. "Competition and the racial wage gap: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    19. Klasen, Stephan, 2020. "From ‘MeToo’ to Boko Haram: A survey of levels and trends of gender inequality in the world," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    20. Li, Jie & Lu, Yi & Song, Hong & Xie, Huihua, 2019. "Long-term impact of trade liberalization on human capital formation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 946-961.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade liberalization; Import competition; Gender employment gap; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F66 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Labor
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:638. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.