Social Organization of the Labor Market in Shenzhen

Ching Kwan Lee

in Gender and the South China Miracle

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1998 | ISBN: 9780520211254
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520920040 | DOI:
Social Organization of the Labor Market in Shenzhen

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This chapter argues that one such local institutional factor is the labor market in Shenzhen. Autonomy in each factory was a response to the situation in that factory's labor market (its supply and demand condition and the way it is organized) and the specific requirements and characteristics of the two workforces as perceived by management. In mainland China, since 1987 an annual “tidal wave of migrant laborers” has flooded railway stations in major cities around the Lunar New Year. Alarming as this metaphor appears, it captures only the tip of a massive and mobile iceberg. Data from a 1987 population survey and a 1990 census by the State Statistical Bureau suggested that nationwide there were in both periods of study approximately thirty million members of the “migrant population,” who had moved out of their former residence in the five-year period prior to the surveys, regardless of whether they established official residence in the new locale.

Keywords: labor market; Shenzhen; autonomy; supply; demand; workforces; China; migrant population

Chapter.  8993 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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