A Comparison of Reform-Era Labor Force Participation Rates of China's Ethnic Minorities and Han Majority

49 Pages Posted: 25 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: October 2005

Abstract

Previous research suggests that minorities are not faring well in China's transition - both income and occupational attainment gaps are widening. We are particularly interested in whether the differences in majority and minority economic outcomes are the result of ethnicity per se, or whether they are artifacts of local economic conditions. In this paper, we employ data from the three most recent population censuses of China to explore differences in the labor force participation rates of a number of China's important ethnic groups. We estimate urban labor force participation rates using probit regressions controlling for sex, marital status, educational attainment, age, ethnicity, and location. We also account for the geographic concentration of particular ethnic minorities and compare the participation rates of different ethnic groups within geographic regions that represent the areas of principal residence for each minority. We concentrate on seven important minority groups: Hui, Koreans, Manchu, Mongolians, Uygurs, Yi and Zhuang. We find that location has limited explanatory power in explaining differences in the probability of labor force participation between these important Chinese ethnic minorities and the majority Han.

Keywords: China, ethnic minorities, labor force participation, economic reform, population

JEL Classification: J1, J2, J7, O1, O5, P2

Suggested Citation

Maurer-Fazio, Margaret and Hughes, James W. and Zhang, Dandan, A Comparison of Reform-Era Labor Force Participation Rates of China's Ethnic Minorities and Han Majority (October 2005). William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 795. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=904361 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.904361

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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