Gender Earnings Inequality in Reform–Era Urban China

Gloria He, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Xiaogang Wu, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

This paper examines the trend in gender earnings inequality in reform-era urban China. Given the lack of longitudinal data, we analyze the 0.1% sample data of the population mini-census in 2005, along with prefecture-level statistics, to approximate the temporal trends with variations between sectors and regions. At the region-level, we explicitly differentiate between the effects of marketization and the effect of economic development on gender inequality. Using OLS regression and multi-level models, we show that the gender earnings gap between is smallest in government and institutions, but increases as the sector is more marketized. Moreover, the forces of marketization and economic development affect gender inequality in different ways. While economic development tends to decrease gender earnings inequality, marketization is the dominating force that increases gender earnings inequality in China.

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Presented in Poster Session 2