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Contrasting paradigms: segmentation and competitiveness in the formation of the chinese labour market

Simon Appleton, John Knight, Lina Song and Qingjie Xia ()

Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, 2004, vol. 2, issue 3, 185-205

Abstract: An urban labour market is in the process of being formed in China. The objective of this paper is to analyse the stage that it has reached. A 1999 household survey is used to investigate whether the labour market has three tiers comprised of recently retrenched and re-employed urban workers, non-retrenched urban workers, and rural-urban migrants. It tests whether wage levels and structures differ across these categories of worker. Panel data are used to model the evolution of the wage structure and, specifically, the impact of retrenchment and re-employment. The results indicate that non-retrenched urban workers enjoy a wage premium, although migrants receive similar returns to education. Re-employed workers receive no return to education and appear to have lost out on the wage rises enjoyed by the non-retrenched. There is evidence to suggest that the urban labour market is segmented into these categories, which differ in their openness to market competition. The urban labour market has a long way to go before it is fully competitive.

Keywords: Chinese labour market; retrenchment; unemployment; re-employment; wages; migration; JEL classifications: J31; J42; O15; P23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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