Economic Reform and Changing Patterns of Labor Force Participation in Urban and Rural China

41 Pages Posted: 24 May 2006

See all articles by Margaret Maurer-Fazio

Margaret Maurer-Fazio

Bates College - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

James W. Hughes

Rutgers University

Dandan Zhang

National School of Development, Peking University

Date Written: August 2005

Abstract

In this project, we employ data from the Chinese population censuses of 1982, 1990, and 2000 to examine reform-era changes in the patterns of male and female labor force participation and in the distribution of men's and women's occupational attainment. Very marked patterns of change in labor force participation emerge when we disaggregate the data by age cohort, marital status, sex, and rural/urban location. Women have decreased their labor force participation more than men, and urban women much more than rural women. Single young people in urban areas have decreased their labor force participation to stay in school to a much greater extent than single young people in rural areas. The urban elderly have decreased their rates of labor force participation while the rural elderly have increased theirs. We also find evidence of the feminization of agriculture.

Keywords: China, labor force participation, economic reform, occupational attainment

JEL Classification: J0, J16, J21, J62, O15, O53

Suggested Citation

Maurer-Fazio, Margaret and Hughes, James W. and Zhang, Dandan, Economic Reform and Changing Patterns of Labor Force Participation in Urban and Rural China (August 2005). William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 787. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=904002 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.904002

Margaret Maurer-Fazio (Contact Author)

Bates College - Department of Economics ( email )

276 Pettengill Hall
4 Andrews Road
Lewiston, ME 04240
United States
207-786-6087 (Phone)
207-786-8338 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

James W. Hughes

Rutgers University ( email )

94 Rockafeller Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States

Dandan Zhang

National School of Development, Peking University ( email )

Beijing, 100871
China

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