Moving out of agriculture as emancipation? Property Rights, Labor Reallocation, and Gender Inequality in Rural China

15:30-17:00, Friday, November 25, 2022

Tencent Meeting(Meeting ID:182 947 096)


Dr. Xinjie Shi is an Assistant Professor/ Research Fellow at School of Public Affairs and China Academy for Rural Development, Zhejiang University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the Australian National University. His research interests are in agricultural economics and development economics, with a focus on a wide range of social and economic development issues in rural China including rural human capital, inequality (of opportunity), rural-urban migration, land conversion and agricultural production. His work has been published in journals including Health Economics, World Development, Journal of Rural Studies, Global Food Security, and Management World (in Chinese).

This study examines the gender-differentiated effects of improved land property rights on labor reallocation. Using quasi-exogenous variation in the timing of the implementation of the Rural Land Contracting Law (RLCL) in China, we provide evidence indicating that, although both men and women tend to move out of agriculture following the land reform, women lag behind men with relatively fewer days of working in the off-farm sector. We found that this gender-differentiated effect can be explained, at least partially, by three mechanisms: the human capital gap, labor market opportunities, and gender identity norms. The following negative signal is that land reform, which increases gender income inequality and weakens women's bargaining power, may further worsen the health status of the next generation, especially among female children.

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