How Women Have Fared with the Rise of the People's Republic of China in Global Supply Chain Trade

27 Pages Posted: 30 May 2018

See all articles by Limin Wang

Limin Wang

World Bank - Research Department

Shireen Kanji

Independent

Shikha Jha

Asian Development Bank

Mieke E. Meurs

American University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 1, 2017

Abstract

Global supply chain (GSC) trade has been a driving force underlying economic transformation, urbanization, and social change in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Female migrants account for a large share of the labor force in the country’s GSC production base. Using province-level panel data, this study employs regression analysis to examine how the country’s rapid integration into the supply chain has affected women’s welfare outcomes captured by occupational status. The analysis shows mixed results. On the one hand, global integration through trade expansion improved the concentration of men and women equally in professional and skilled occupations and in management positions. On the other hand, female employment in manufacturing for GSC trade increased faster than male employment. This trend decreased in turn the male–female sex ratio among those aged 0–4 years. This finding is consistent with other studies on the PRC that confirm the beneficial effect of a relative rise in women’s income in reducing the sex imbalance. Gender-specific policies should support female migrants in moving up the job ladder in GSC trade through higher education and skills training for professional and leadership positions. This should be complemented with incentives for the private sector—the biggest source of employment in the PRC—to promote gender equality by harnessing the advancement in technology and opportunities offered by the rapid growth of GSC trade.

Keywords: global supply chain, People’s Republic of China, trade, women

JEL Classification: F16, J16

Suggested Citation

Wang, Limin and Kanji, Shireen and Jha, Shikha and Meurs, Mieke E., How Women Have Fared with the Rise of the People's Republic of China in Global Supply Chain Trade (July 1, 2017). Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper Series No. 514. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3187777 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3187777

Limin Wang

World Bank - Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-7596 (Phone)
202-522-1735 (Fax)

Shireen Kanji

Independent

No Address Available

Shikha Jha (Contact Author)

Asian Development Bank ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila
Philippines

Mieke E. Meurs

American University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20016-8029
United States

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