Impact of the Global Financial Crises in Rural China: Gender, Off-Farm Employment, and Wages

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Feminist Economics, Vol. 19


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This contribution documents the effect ofthe global financial crisis on women's off-farm employment in China's rural labor force. It begins by comparing the difference between the actual off-farm employment rate and the offfarm employment rate under the assumption of "business as usual" (BAU - a counterfactual of what off-farm employment would have been in the absence of the crisis). The study also examines how the impact of the financial crisis hit different segments of the rural off-farm labor market. Using a primary dataset, the study found that the global financial crisis affected women workers. By April 2009, there was a 5.3 percentage point difference between off-farm employment under BAU and actual off-farm employment for women, and the monthly wages of women declined. Most of this impact affected migrant wage earners; however, the impact did not fall disproportionately on women. The recovery of women's employment was as fast as that of men's employment

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