China's Rural-Urban Age Structure, Sectoral Employment and Economic Growth

33 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2013 Last revised: 16 May 2014

See all articles by Jane Golley

Jane Golley

Australian National University (ANU) - Faculty of Economics & Commerce; Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Annie Wei

Crawford School of Public Policy

Date Written: December 15, 2013

Abstract

This paper focuses on two major elements of China’s population dynamics – the rising proportion of workers in the population and the shift of rural workers from agriculture to industry and services – in a provincial-level analysis of per capita income and productivity growth during the last three decades. We measure the "mechanical" contributions of these dynamics to per capita income as revealed by growth decompositions, before assessing the deeper population determinants of per capita income and productivity in a series of growth regressions. Our results indicate that lower levels of rural dependency and the sectoral shift in employment have both made significant positive contributions to per capita income and aggregate productivity growth. However, the negligible impact of China’s changing age structure combined with the negative impact of changing sectoral employment on industrial productivity growth suggest that the benefits of these population dynamics to China’s economic performance have been overstated.

Keywords: economic growth, productivity, demography, sectoral change, China

Suggested Citation

Golley, Jane and Wei, Zheng, China's Rural-Urban Age Structure, Sectoral Employment and Economic Growth (December 15, 2013). Crawford School Research Paper No. 13-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2368099 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2368099

Jane Golley (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Faculty of Economics & Commerce ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Zheng Wei

Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

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