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Forced ruralisation of urban youth during Mao’s rule and women’s status in post-Mao China: an empirical study

Liu Shuchen, Kent Deng and Sun Shengmin

Economic History Working Papers from London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History

Abstract: This study uses data of “Chinese Household Income Project Survey 2002” to investigate long-term impact of Mao’s persistent policy of “forced/involuntary ruralisation of urban youth” (shangshan xiaxiang, literally “re-settlement in mountains and villages”) during the 1950s and 70s on women’s labour market participation and contribution to family incomes. Our results indicate that the impact of Mao’s forced ruralisation on female labour market participation can be positive (despite diminishing in size due to ageing). In addition, a change from positive to negative impact is largely determined by personal hardship under Maoism and its aftermath. Moreover, regarding female contribution to family incomes, our findings suggest that forcefully ruralised urban women have more bargaining power later in family finance. Our conclusion is that against all the odds Mao’s “forced ruralisation of urban youth” has improved family and societal positions of female victims in the post-Mao era as an unintended consequence of Maoism.

JEL-codes: I28 J08 P25 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-lab and nep-tra
Date: 2018-11-01
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