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Foreign direct investment and gendered wages in urban China

Elissa Braunstein () and Mark Brenner

Feminist Economics, 2007, vol. 13, issue 3-4, 213-237

Abstract: This paper documents the changing impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) on gendered wages in urban China. Combining household survey data from 1995 and 2002 with province-level macro-data, the paper finds that FDI as a proportion of investment has a sizable and statistically significant positive effect on both female and male wages in both years. In 1995, women experienced larger gains from FDI than men, but those gender-based advantages had reversed by 2002, with men experiencing larger wage gains from FDI than women. The paper argues that these results reflect the shift of foreign-invested enterprises to higher productivity and more domestically oriented production, a shift that interacts with gender-based employment segregation to more greatly advantage workers in male-dominated than female-dominated industries. These findings indicate that FDI can have considerable structural effects on economies that reach beyond the particular workers and firms linked to foreign investors.

Keywords: China; earnings differentials; foreign direct investment; trade liberalization; JEL Codes: F21; J7; O53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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DOI: 10.1080/13545700701439432

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