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Changing Ethnic Stratification in Contemporary China

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionWu, Xiaogang, and Gloria He. 2014. "Changing Ethnic Stratification in Contemporary China." PSC Research Report No. 14-819. May 2014.

This paper investigates the temporal trend in the socioeconomic differentials between ethnic minorities and the Han majority in China. Using the data from a series of population censuses and a mini-census, it illustrates that, while the regional distribution of ethnic minorities remained relatively stable, occupational segregation and educational disparities between minorities and Han have increased over time from 1982 to 2005. Multivariate analyses of data from the 2005 mini-census further reveal that ethnic minorities were disadvantaged in earnings in urban labor markets compared to the Han, especially those minorities in the private sector and in self-employment. The analysis shows substantial heterogeneity among ethnic minorities in their socioeconomic relationship with Han and presents a comprehensive picture of how different ethnic minorities have fared in the course of China's economic transition.

Country of focus: China.

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