Understanding Urban Wage Inequality in China 1988-2008: Evidence from Quantile Analysis

Simon Appleton, Lina Song, Qingjie Xia

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines change in wage gaps in urban China from 1988 to 2008 by estimating quantile regressions on CHIPS data. It applies the Machado and Mata (2005) decomposition, finding sharp increases in inequality largely due to changes in the wage structure. During 2002-08, changes in the returns to education and experience have been equalizing. However, changes in other categories of wage differential-by sex, occupation, ownership, industrial sector, and province-widened inequality. The gender gap continued to rise, as did the gap between white collar and blue collar workers, and between manufacturing and other sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalWorld Development
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Inequality
  • Labor
  • Quantile regression
  • Wages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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