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Chinese Labour Productivity - Labour Market Reform, Competition and Globalisation

Chinese Labour Productivity - Labour Market Reform, Competition and Globalisation

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Published by: Ronan Lyons on Jul 02, 2009
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11/04/2012

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 ISSN 1471-0498
DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICSDISCUSSION PAPER SERIES
HOW PRODUCTIVE IS CHINESE LABOUR?THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF LABOUR MARKET REFORMS,COMPETITION AND GLOBALISATIONLinda Yueh
 Number 418December 2008
Manor Road Building, Oxford OX1 3UQ
 
 
How
 
Productive
 
is
 
Chinese
 
Labour?
 
The
 
Contributions
 
of 
 
Labour
 
Market
 
Reforms,
 
Competition
 
and
 
Globalisation
 
Linda
 
Yueh
 
University
 
of 
 
Oxford
 
linda.yueh@economics.ox.ac.uk
 
December
 
2008
 
 Abstract.
 
Productivity
 
advances
 
drive
 
long
run
 
economic
 
growth,
 
and
 
a
 
crucial
 
factor
 
is
 
labour
 
productivity
 
improvements.
 
The
 
productivity
 
of 
 
labour
 
in
 
China
 
was
 
marginally
 
relevant
 
in
 
the
 
pre
1978
 
period,
 
but
 
the
 
picture
 
has
 
changed
 
dramatically
 
in
 
the
 
reform
 
period
 
due
 
to
 
numerous
 
labour
 
market
 
reforms
 
as
 
well
 
as
 
radical
 
changes
 
in
 
ownership
 
structure
 
whereby
 
the
 
dominance
 
of 
 
state
owned
 
enterprises
 
has
 
given
 
way
 
to
 
the
 
rise
 
of 
 
private
 
sector
 
firms
 
and
 
globalisation.
 
Using
 
a
 
national
 
firm
level
 
panel
 
data
 
set
 
from
 
2000
 
to
 
2005,
 
this
 
paper
 
hypothesises
 
that
 
labour
 
productivity
 
has
 
improved
 
as
 
a
 
result
 
of 
 
labour
 
market
 
reforms,
 
increased
 
competition,
 
and
 
greater
 
opening
 
to
 
the
 
global
 
economy,
 
and
 
finds
 
that
 
all
 
of 
 
these
 
factors
 
to
 
be
 
important.
 
 JEL
 
Codes:
 
J24,
 
O12,
 
O53
 
Keywords:
 
Labour
 
productivity,
 
China,
 
economic
 
reform
 
Acknowledgements:
 
The
 
support
 
of 
 
a
 
British
 
Academy
 
Larger
 
Research
 
Grant
 
is
 
gratefully
 
acknowledged.
 
Research
 
assistance
 
was
 
kindly
 
provided
 
by
 
Markus
 
Eberhardt,
 
Lefu
 
Li,
 
and
 
Jing
 
Xing.
 
The
 
helpful
 
comments
 
of 
 
the
 
participants
 
of 
 
The
 
Microeconomic
 
Drivers
 
of 
 
Growth
 
in
 
China
 
conference
 
organised
 
by
 
the
 
University
 
of 
 
Oxford
 
and
 
the
 
China
 
Center
 
for
 
Economic
 
Research
 
at
 
Peking
 
University
 
are
 
appreciated,
 
particularly
 
those
 
of 
 
Albert
 
Guangzhou
 
Hu.
 
 
 
1
1.
 
Introduction
 
Productivity
 
advances
 
drive
 
long
run
 
economic
 
growth,
 
and
 
a
 
crucial
 
factor
 
is
 
labour
 
productivity.
 
The
 
productivity
 
of 
 
labour
 
in
 
China
 
was
 
marginally
 
relevant
 
in
 
the
 
pre
1978
 
period
 
when
 
the
 
labour
 
market
 
was
 
administered,
 
wages
 
were
 
centrally
 
determined
 
and
 
detached
 
from
 
effort
 
(Knight
 
and
 
Song,
 
2005).
 
However,
 
the
 
picture
 
has
 
changed
 
dramatically
 
in
 
the
 
post
1978
 
reform
 
period
 
due
 
to
 
numerous
 
labour
 
market
 
reforms
 
as
 
well
 
as
 
radical
 
changes
 
in
 
ownership
 
structure
 
whereby
 
the
 
dominance
 
of 
 
state
owned
 
enterprises
 
(SOEs)
 
has
 
given
 
way
 
to
 
the
 
rise
 
of 
 
private
 
sector
 
firms
 
and
 
globalisation,
 
all
 
of 
 
which
 
introduce
 
competition
 
into
 
the
 
previously
 
planned
 
economy.
 
Labour
 
market
 
reforms
 
have
 
included
 
liberalising
 
wages
 
to
 
better
 
reward
 
productive
 
characteristics
 
such
 
as
 
education,
 
as
 
well
 
as
 
increasing
 
 job
 
mobility
 
to
 
permit
 
better
 
matching
 
between
 
worker
 
and
 
employer
 
characteristics,
 
leading
 
to
 
a
 
more
 
competitive
 
labour
 
market
 
(Knight
 
and
 
Yueh,
 
2004).
 
Ownership
 
reform
 
has
 
also
 
progressed
 
significantly
 
throughout
 
the
 
reform
 
period
 
(Dougherty
 
et 
 
al.,
 
2007).
 
From
 
state
owned
 
enterprises
 
dominating
 
GDP
 
to
 
accounting
 
for
 
less
 
than
 
half 
 
of 
 
China’s
 
output
 
by
 
2005
 
(NBS,
 
2006),
 
China’s
 
economy
 
is
 
therefore
 
increasingly
 
characterised
 
by
 
private
 
sector
 
competition
 
(Jefferson
 
et 
 
al.,
 
2006).
 
Moreover,
 
the
 
“open
 
door”
 
policy
 
culminated
 
in
 
membership
 
of 
 
the
 
World
 
Trade
 
Organisation
 
(WTO)
 
in
 

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