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Economic Reform and the Employment of Chinese Women

Economic Reform and the Employment of Chinese Women JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ISSUES Jel Vol.XXVlll No.3 September1994 Economic Reform. and the Employment of Chinese Women Gale Summerfield In its transformation to a more market-oriented economy, China has avoided the massive unemployment problems that have plagued Poland and Germany. Rapid growth has supported new opportunities in both the city and countryside. Surplus labor con­ tinues to be an obstacle to the competitiveness of state firms, how­ ever, and the Chinese leadership has voiced its intention to cut at least 2 percent of the work force in the near future ["Thinner Workforce ... " 1992, 12]. The hypothesis of this paper is that while the reforms in China create many gains in income and op­ portunity for both men and women, the costs (especially in terms of employment opportunity) fall disproportionately on women. The paper uses Sen's [1990a] concepts of capabilities, entitle­ ments, and social technology, discussed in the next section, to as­ sess the changing employment conditions for Chinese women. Changes in capabilities are examined through changes in income, the source of income, and intrahousehold bargaining power. Be­ cause China is still a dual society, women face different employ­ ment environments in the countryside and the city. Unfortunately, the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Economic Issues Taylor & Francis

Economic Reform and the Employment of Chinese Women

Journal of Economic Issues , Volume 28 (3): 18 – Sep 1, 1994

Economic Reform and the Employment of Chinese Women

Journal of Economic Issues , Volume 28 (3): 18 – Sep 1, 1994

Abstract

JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ISSUES Jel Vol.XXVlll No.3 September1994 Economic Reform. and the Employment of Chinese Women Gale Summerfield In its transformation to a more market-oriented economy, China has avoided the massive unemployment problems that have plagued Poland and Germany. Rapid growth has supported new opportunities in both the city and countryside. Surplus labor con­ tinues to be an obstacle to the competitiveness of state firms, how­ ever, and the Chinese leadership has voiced its intention to cut at least 2 percent of the work force in the near future ["Thinner Workforce ... " 1992, 12]. The hypothesis of this paper is that while the reforms in China create many gains in income and op­ portunity for both men and women, the costs (especially in terms of employment opportunity) fall disproportionately on women. The paper uses Sen's [1990a] concepts of capabilities, entitle­ ments, and social technology, discussed in the next section, to as­ sess the changing employment conditions for Chinese women. Changes in capabilities are examined through changes in income, the source of income, and intrahousehold bargaining power. Be­ cause China is still a dual society, women face different employ­ ment environments in the countryside and the city. Unfortunately, the

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References (10)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 1994 by Journal of Economic Issues–Association for Evolutionary Economics.
ISSN
1946-326X
eISSN
0021-3624
DOI
10.1080/00213624.1994.11505579
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ISSUES Jel Vol.XXVlll No.3 September1994 Economic Reform. and the Employment of Chinese Women Gale Summerfield In its transformation to a more market-oriented economy, China has avoided the massive unemployment problems that have plagued Poland and Germany. Rapid growth has supported new opportunities in both the city and countryside. Surplus labor con­ tinues to be an obstacle to the competitiveness of state firms, how­ ever, and the Chinese leadership has voiced its intention to cut at least 2 percent of the work force in the near future ["Thinner Workforce ... " 1992, 12]. The hypothesis of this paper is that while the reforms in China create many gains in income and op­ portunity for both men and women, the costs (especially in terms of employment opportunity) fall disproportionately on women. The paper uses Sen's [1990a] concepts of capabilities, entitle­ ments, and social technology, discussed in the next section, to as­ sess the changing employment conditions for Chinese women. Changes in capabilities are examined through changes in income, the source of income, and intrahousehold bargaining power. Be­ cause China is still a dual society, women face different employ­ ment environments in the countryside and the city. Unfortunately, the

Journal

Journal of Economic IssuesTaylor & Francis

Published: Sep 1, 1994

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