Market expansion, state intervention and wage differentials between economic sectors in urban China : a multilevel analysis
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The rising earnings inequality in China has sparked a heated debate on the socioeconomic outcomes of market transformation. While a large body of literature has focussed on the temporal trend of wage inequality during the reform period, much less attention has been devoted to the structural causes of regional variations in sectoral wage differentials. Using a micro-data sample from the 2005 one percent population sample survey and multilevel methods, this article examines the geographic variability of wage differentials between economic sectors in urban China, with a particular focus on the combination effects of market expansion and state intervention. The results indicate that sectoral wage differentials vary substantially across regions, and that market expansion interacts with state intervention to reconfigure earnings outcomes. Specifically, prefectures located in the interior region tend to exhibit a large wage premium for the state sectors, while prefectures located in the coastal region tend to display a wage advantage of the foreign-invested sector. The wage gap between the state and non-state sectors is smaller in areas with diversified ownership; openness to foreign investment increases the relative wages of foreign-invested-sector employees; stringent government regulation of industries increases the wage gap between the state monopoly sector and the non-monopoly sector; and strong redistributive power increases the wage premium for the public service sector over other sectors. Our findings suggest the necessity to take into account contextually constituted and locally specific wage-setting mechanisms when studying China’s wage inequality.
Liu , Y , Xu , W , Shen , J & Wang , G 2017 , ' Market expansion, state intervention and wage differentials between economic sectors in urban China : a multilevel analysis ' Urban Studies , vol 54 , no. 11 , pp. 2631-2651 . DOI: 10.1177/0042098016650421
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DescriptionThis work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41501151, 41329001); the China Ministry of Education (11JJDZH006); the National Key Technology R&D Program (2012BAI32B07); and the Research Centre for Urban and Regional Development, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies. This research is also supported by the Program for Professor of Special Appointment (Eastern Scholar) at Shanghai Institutions of Higher Learning.
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