Gender and Off-farm Employment: Evidence from Rural China

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China and World Economy, Vol. 24

July 2016

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Abstract: The goal of the present paper is to examine how the expansion of the economy from 2000 has affected rural off-farm labor market participation. Specifically, we seek to determine whether off-farm labor increased after 2000, what forms of employment are driving trends in off-farm labor and whether gender differences can be observed in off farm employment trends. Using a nationally representative dataset that consist of two waves of surveys conducted in 2000 and 2008 in six provinces, this paper finds that off farm labor market participation continued to rise steadily in the early 2000s. However, there is a clear difference in the trends associated with occupational choice before and after 2000. In addition, we find that rural off-farm employment trends are different for men and women. Our analysis also shows that the rise of wage-earning employment corresponds with an increasing unskilled wage for both men and women.

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