Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

H. Luke Shaefer and colleagues argue for a universal child allowance

Hindustan Times points out high value of H-1B visas for US innovation, welfare, and tech firm profits

Novak, Geronimus, Martinez-Cardoso: Threat of deportation harmful to immigrants' health

More News

Highlights

Heather Ann Thompson wins Pulitzer Prize for book on Attica uprising

Lam explores dimensions of the projected 4 billion increase in world population before 2100

ISR's Nick Prieur wins UMOR award for exceptional contribution to U-M's research mission

How effectively can these nations handle outside investments in health R&D?

More Highlights

Next Brown Bag

Mon, April 10, 2017, noon:
Elizabeth Bruch

Xiaogang Wu photo

Does the Market Pay Off? Earnings Returns to Education in Urban China

Publication Abstract

Wu, Xiaogang, and Yu Xie. 2003. "Does the Market Pay Off? Earnings Returns to Education in Urban China." American Sociological Review, 68(3): 425-442.

Previous work on the market transition debate has missed the direct link between individuals' labor market history and individuals' labor market outcome. In this paper, we develop a typology of workers based on their labor market histories. We propose a model of selective transition of workers from the state sector to the market sector as an alternative explanation for the increases in earnings inequality and in earnings returns to education in reform-era China. Analysis of data from an urban survey data in China reveals that commonly observed higher returns to education in the market sector are limited to recent market entrants. It also shows that the seemingly higher returns to education for recent market entrants result from the aggregation of two very different types of workers: those who were "pushed" and those who "jumped" into the market. Pooling these two subgroups would yield high rates of returns to education in the market sector. The results challenge the prevailing wisdom that education is necessarily more highly rewarded by the market sector. We conclude that higher returns to education in the market sector of a transition economy cannot be construed as caused by marketization per se, and that the sorting process of labor markets helps explain the sectoral differential.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next