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FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT AND GENDERED WAGES IN URBAN CHINA


FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT AND
GENDERED WAGES IN URBAN CHINA

Elissa Braunstein and Mark Brenner


ABSTRACT
          This paper documents the changing impact of foreign direct investment(FDI) on gendered wages in urban China. Combining household survey data from1995 and 2002 with province-level macro-data, the paper finds that FDI as a proportion of investment has a sizable and statistically significant positive effect on both female and male wages in both years. In 1995, women experienced larger gains from FDI than men, but those gender-based advantages had reversed by 2002, with men experiencing larger wage gains from FDI than women. The paper argues that these results reflect the shift of foreign-invested enterprises to higher productivity and more domestically oriented production, a shift that interacts with gender-based employment segregation to more greatly advantage workers in male-dominated than female-dominated industries. These findings indicate that FDI can have considerable structural effects on economies that reach beyond the particular workers and firms linked to foreign investors.


KEYWORDS
China, earnings differentials, foreign direct investment, trade liberalization

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