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Registration Status, Occupational Segregation, and Rural Migrants in Urban China

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionZhang, Zhuoni, and Xiaogang Wu. 2013. "Registration Status, Occupational Segregation, and Rural Migrants in Urban China." PSC Research Report No. 13-809. November 2013.

This paper examines the sources of earnings disparities between rural migrants and local workers in urban China's labor markets, with special attention to the role played by the household registration (hukou) status in occupational segregation. Using data from the population mini-census of China in 2005, we show that rural migrants' earnings disadvantages are largely attributable to occupational segregation based on workers' hukou status, and the occupational segregation pattern varies by employment sector. Rural migrants who work in governmental agencies or state institutions earn less than their urban counterparts whereas those who work in public or private enterprises earn higher hourly wages. Our findings shed new lights on how government policies lead to occupational segregation and create inequality among different social groups.

Country of focus: China.

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