Ethnic Stratification in China’s Labor Markets: Evidence from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in 2005

Xiaogang Wu, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Xi Song, University of California, Los Angeles

This paper analyzes a sample from the 2005 mini-census data to examine ethnic inequalities in labor markets, with a special focus on how ethnic inequality varies by different employment sectors. Results show a clear disparity between Han and Uyghur in employment segregation by sector: more than 70 percent Uyghur in Xinjiang, compared to only 35 percent of local Han Chinese, are engaged in agricultural work; within the non-agricultural sector, Uyghur are nonetheless more likely to work in government agencies/institutions than both Han locals and (rural) migrants, and also more likely to become self-employed. Furthermore, Han-Uyghur income gap is negligible in government/institution, and increases with the marketization of employment sector. We conclude that the pattern of ethnic stratification is a mixed result from the market force that tends to enlarge ethnic inequality and government efforts in promoting ethnic equality.

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Presented in Poster Session 7