You are here: Home / People / Xiaoling Shu, 舒晓灵 / Publications / Global Economy and Gender Inequalities: The Case of the Urban Chinese Labor Market

Xiaoling Shu, Yifei Zhu, and Zhanxin Zhang (2007)

Global Economy and Gender Inequalities: The Case of the Urban Chinese Labor Market

Social Science Quarterly, 88(5):1307--1332.

Objectives This article examines the effects of economic globalization on gender inequalities in urban China. It argues that the significance of economic globalization on gender inequality depends on its impact on job queues in the labor market of a country. Methods Using both individual- and city-level data, and a series of multilevel linear and logistic models, we analyze the effects of three city-level variables on the gender gap in income: foreign direct investment (FDI) per capita, growth rate of FDI, and opening up to overseas investment early on. We also examine gender differences in employment in high-paying foreign-invested firms, and in lower-paying export-oriented manufacturing. Results We find no variation in gender gap in income among cities of varying levels of FDI, growth rates of FDI, or whether they were among the earliest to open up to international investment. Women are more likely to be employed in export-oriented manufacturing industries that offer lower wages and are less likely to work in high-paying foreign firms and joint ventures. Conclusions These results suggest that economic globalization profoundly influences gender inequalities by changing the nature of job queues, and men and women are sorted and matched into jobs accordingly. Economic globalization contributed to and perpetuated a gendered distribution of male and female workers in the Chinese urban labor market in the late 1990s. Adapted from the source document.

*Sexual Inequality, *Working Women, *Global Cities, *Globalization, *Labor Market, *Manufacturing Industries, *Peoples Republic of China, *World Economy, article, 0621: complex organization; jobs, work organization, workplaces, & unions, 2983: feminist/gender studies; sociology of gender & gender relations
SubjectsTermNotLitGenreText - *Globalization; *Sexual Inequality; *Manufacturing Industries; *Global Cities; *Peoples Republic of China; *World Economy; *Working Women; *Labor Market

Document Actions


1283 Social Sciences & 
University of California, 
One Shields Avenue 
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 752-0782 phone
(530) 752-0783 fax

Map and Additional Contact Information

Make a Gift

Giving matters at UC Davis. For more than a century, donors have been helping the university address the issues that matter most to California, the nation and the world.  The Department of Sociology is dedicated to achieving excellence. Your gift can help.

Make a gift