Long Run Trends in Unemployment and Labor Force Participation in China
Yingyao Hu and
Robert Moffitt ()
No 21460, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
Unemployment rates in countries across the world are typically positively correlated with GDP. China is an unusual outlier from the pattern, with abnormally low, and suspiciously stable, unemployment rates according to its official statistics. This paper calculates, for the first time, China’s unemployment rate from 1988 to 2009 using a more reliable, nationally representative household survey in China. The unemployment rates we calculate differ dramatically from those supplied in official data and are much more consistent with what is known about China’s labor market and how it has changed over time in response to structural changes and other significant events. The rate averaged 3.9% in 1988-1995, when the labor market was highly regulated and dominated by state-owned enterprises, but rose sharply during the period of mass layoff from 1995- 2002, reaching an average of 10.9% in the subperiod from 2002 to 2009. We can also calculate labor force participation rates, which are not available in official statistics at all. We find that they declined throughout the whole period, particularly in 1995-2002 when the unemployment rate increased most significantly. We also report results for different demographic groups, different regions, and different cohorts.
JEL-codes: J64 O15 O53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-ger, nep-lab and nep-tra
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed
Published as Shuaizhang Feng & Yingyao Hu & Robert Moffitt, 2017. "Long run trends in unemployment and labor force participation in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, vol 45(2), pages 304-324.
Downloads: (external link)
Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.
Working Paper: Long Run Trends in Unemployment and Labor Force Participation in China (2015)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21460
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
The price is Paper copy available by mail.
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Series data maintained by ().