Friday, 4 April 2008

Economics of Transition China Special Issue

The most recent issue of Economics of Transition has a series of 5 interesting papers looking at different aspects of the China economy. Here are three of them.

If anyone knows how I can get a firm level dataset for China please email.

Trade, Technology, and China's Rising Skill Demand

China Europe International Business School
University of Virginia - Darden Graduate School of Business Administration; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Economics of Transition, Vol. 16, Issue 1, pp. 59-84, January 2008

China has experienced rising wage inequality due to rising relative demand for skilled labor. In this paper, we use a sample of 1,500 firms to investigate the impact of trade and technology on China's rising skill demand. We find that export expansion had a negative direct effect (Heckscher-Ohlin type) and a positive indirect effect (export-induced skill-biased technical change) on skill demand; the net effect was found positive and accounted for 5 percent of rising skill demand of the sample firms. We find that technical change in Chinese firms was on average skill-neutral, but majority foreign-owned firms experienced skill-biased technical progress that accounted for 22 percent of the rising skill demand of the sample firms.

Male-Female Wage Discrimination in Chinese Industry - Investigation Using Firm-Level Data

Affiliation Unknown
University of Winnipeg - Department of Economics

Economics of Transition, Vol. 16, Issue 1, pp. 85-112, January 2008

We use firm-level data to analyze male-female wage discrimination in China's industry. We find that there is a significant negative association between wages and the share of female workers in a firm's labor force. However, we also find that the marginal productivity of female workers is significantly lower than that of male workers. Comparing wage gaps and productivity gaps between men and women, we notice an intriguing contrast between state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and private firms. The wage gap is smaller than the productivity gap in SOEs, while the converse is true for private firms. These results suggest that women in the state sector receive wage premiums, whereas women in the private sector face wage discrimination.

Resource Abundance and Regional Development in China

International Food Policy Research Institute
Affiliation Unknown
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Affiliation Unknown

Economics of Transition, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 7-29, January 2008

Over the past several decades, China has made tremendous progress in market integration and infrastructure development. Demand for natural resources has increased from the booming coastal economies, causing the terms of trade to favor the resource sector, which is predominantly based in the interior regions of the country. However, the gap in economic development level between the coastal and inland regions has widened significantly. In this paper, using a panel dataset at the provincial level, we show that Chinese provinces with abundant resources perform worse than their resource-poor counterparts in terms of per capita consumption growth. This trend that resource-poor areas are better off than resource-rich areas is particularly prominent in rural areas. Because of the institutional arrangements regarding property rights of natural resources, most gains from the resource boom have been captured either by the government- or state-owned enterprises. Thus, the windfall of natural resources has more to do with government consumption than household consumption. Moreover, in resource-rich areas, greater revenues accrued from natural resources bid up the price of non-tradable goods and hurt the competitiveness of the local economy.

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