No. 22 Gender Wage Gaps in Post-Reform Rural China
by Scott Rozelle, Xiao-yuan Dong, Linxiu Zhang and Andrew Mason

The present paper examines the impact of market reforms on gender earnings gaps in China's rural economy using two cross-sections of data for 1988 and 1995. The results show that the raw gender wage gap was sizeable and predominated by the unexplained part. However, no evidence was found to suggest that the reform policies and market competition led to any measurable increase or decrease in wage discrimination during the period of investigation.


This paper is part of a series of papers on selected topics commissioned for the forthcoming Policy Research Report(PRR) on Gender and Development. The PRR is being carried out by Elizabeth King and Andrew Mason and co-sponsored by the World Bank’s Development Economics Research Group and the Gender and Development Group of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network. Printed copies of this paper are available free from the World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433. Please contact Owen Haaga, in room MC8-434 or at Comments are welcome and should be sent directly to the author(s) at

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