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Rising Wages: Has China Lost Its Global Labor Advantage?

Dennis Yang, Vivian Chen and Ryan Monarch
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Vivian Chen: The Conference Board

No 09-03, Economics Program Working Papers from The Conference Board, Economics Program

Abstract: We document dramatic rising wages in China for the period 1978–2007 based on multiple sources of aggregate statistics. Although real wages increased seven-fold during the period, growth was uneven across ownership types, industries and regions. In the last decade, the wages of state-owned enterprises increased rapidly and wage disparities between skill-intensive and labour-intensive industries widened. Comparisons of international data show that China’s manufacturing wage has already converged to that of Asian emerging markets, but China still enjoys enormous labour cost advantages over its neighbouring developed economies. Our analysis suggests that China’s wage growth will stabilize to a moderate pace in the near future.

Pages: 38
Date: 2009-03
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http://www.conference-board.org/economics/workingpapers.cfm?pdf=E-0043-09-WP First version, 2009 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: RISING WAGES: HAS CHINA LOST ITS GLOBAL LABOR ADVANTAGE? (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Rising Wages: Has China Lost Its Global Labor Advantage? (2010) Downloads
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