Regionalism Chinese Style: Measuring Labor Market Integration in Contemporary China
Abstract: The concept of economic convergence is nowadays both a challenge and an ambitious objective. In this concept one may find equality in growth through a dynamic “catching up” relationship. A gigantic economy such as China came back on the global scene through a miraculous growth trip that occurred during the last thirty years. Regionalism though, which was a distinct trait of this economy seems to have persisted. This paper investigates the labour market of the Chinese economy through the level of integration or convergence on average wages of staff and workers in eight industries. The results indicate that the labour market in China is not unified while in many cases, regionally integrated clubs exist. This stratification or segmentation of the Chinese labour market has severe implications to social welfare and as a result the Chinese government will soon have to pay more and special attention to it.
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