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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3777||2010||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : China Economic Review, Volume 21, Issue 1, March 2010, Pages 38–50
Using the 2005 placement data from two separate colleges, this paper studies graduate job allocation in China after higher education reform. Other things being equal, graduates with better college GPA were more likely to be employed (in particular by high-pay foreign firms) in both colleges. Female advantage in GPA helped to produce a surprising gender employment gap favoring female graduates. Our empirical evidence does not support the three alternative hypotheses of such a gap. Even though the job-market returns to GPA might be higher for women, there is some weak evidence that the job-market preferred male graduates over their female peers with similar qualifications. Pre-college urban hukou status and a proxy of father's education had positive impacts on a graduate's educational and employment outcomes. There is no evidence that father's Communist Party membership mattered.
Before higher education reform of the late-1990s, each college graduate in China was guaranteed a government-assigned job through a centralized placement system. The reform created the world's largest graduate job-market in China. In the face of massive graduate unemployment over the past decade, the functioning of this new market has received great public attention.1 Is job allocation determined by merit? Do household registration status (hukou) and family background play an important role? Is the outcome fair to the women? Etc. These new questions are important because the job-market is still in transition. While the reform has offered graduates and their employers new opportunities, hukou institution still restricts labor mobility in various ways, and employers (including government recruiters) often openly discriminate against job applicants with certain characteristics.2 Graduate job allocation may affect the society in many important (or even disastrous) ways. For example, if the risk of unemployment for graduates from a rural/poor background is too high no matter how hard they work in college, they may shun college education altogether even if they can pay for it, deepening the existing inequality in access to higher education and blocking a traditional channel of social mobility in a highly unequal society. According to a widely circulated media report, over 10,000 mainly-rural high school students did not sign up for the 2009 college entrance exam in Chongqing when the college graduate job-market deteriorated during the global financial crisis, despite an increase in the total number of students who did sign up in this poor western province.3 Even though anecdotal stories about the graduate job-market abound, there is no rigorous evidence of any “due process” regarding the way jobs are allocated among the graduates. This is largely due to the lack of reliable individual-level data set. To fill this gap, we collected a unique micro data set based upon various administrative records in two separate colleges. Our data set contains information on family background, individual characteristics, academic performance (both before and during college), and placement outcomes, allowing us to explore the functioning of the job-market in a fairly detailed way. Our paper touches upon several dimensions of the job-market, but we will focus upon the way academic achievement during college affects post-graduate employability and contributes to the gender differences in employment outcomes. One reason is that our findings on other dimensions (such as hukou and family background) seem to be consistent with the perceived view of the Chinese labor market (e.g. Bian, 1994 and Knight and Yueh, 2004), while the relationship between human capital accumulation within college (reflected in college academic achievement) and job-market outcomes in China is an open question. Providing an answer to this question would help us evaluate the role of college education and individual productive characteristic in the job allocation process. Another reason is that the gender situation is counterintuitive when we look closer at it. The popular belief that female graduates are in a very weak position (see footnote 1) is not at all consistent with the employment data we found in our samples. While there are no official national statistics available, we were able to obtain regional statistics which also suggest that the female graduate unemployment rate is not in fact higher than the corresponding male rate in Shanghai (2005), Beijing (2000–2002), or Hainan (2005–2006). Our own calculation based upon 2005 mini census shows a similar pattern (details to be explored in a separate paper). Since hiring discrimination against women is widely perceived to exist (though rigorous evidence is lacking) in China, such a success demands an explanation. Our findings show that the gender difference in college academic achievement plays an important role. To preview our main results, we find that college GPA is an important determinant of placement outcomes in both colleges. Other things equal, graduates with better college GPA were less likely to be unemployed in both colleges. Conditional upon the employment status, graduates with better GPA were also more likely to enter high-pay foreign firms. Returns to GPA tend to be larger in firms/places situated in a more competitive labor market, consistent with our supplementary evidence that grades reflect human capital investment. Because women from both colleges received better grades, their employability in the post-reform graduate job-market was greatly improved. This helps to explain the observed employment gap in favor of women. Direct evidence of gender discrimination exists, but is not very strong. There is some weak evidence that returns to college GPA are higher for women. Section 2 describes the background of our research and introduces the relevant literature. Section 3 describes our data. Section 4 presents our main results on the job-market returns to college GPA and its gender implications. Section 5 discusses three alternative hypotheses. Section 6 concludes this study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Even though regional segregation because of hukou and graduates' family backgrounds affect the graduate job-market in many important ways, we nevertheless find consistent evidence that human capital investment within-college reflected in college GPA is highly valued by the job-market. The importance of GPA can be best seen as a powerful productive characteristic which female college students can heavily invest in to gain a competitive edge over their male peers. Academic achievement may not be so relevant for women from less-selective universities, or for educated women with job experience. Nevertheless, our paper is consistent with the argument that investing in observable skills in general could help women overcome market discrimination. We find some evidence of gender discrimination in our two-college placement data, though the evidence is not very strong. Our results suggest that the scope of gender discrimination in this market might be much smaller than our expectation. According to Gary Becker's classic argument, when the economy becomes more competitive, employers with strong male preferences will be punished by the market. And they do have good reasons to give up their hiring prejudice when educated women in China are more likely to marry much later, have only one child several years after marriage, and pay greater attention to their jobs even after having a child.32 Compared to the gender issue, a more serious problem is unequal access to college education and jobs along the line of hukou and family background. Since universities in China are generally believed to be inefficient and contributes to the graduate unemployment problem (see footnote 10), our results that college grades play a positive role in job allocation are encouraging. Improving the quality of higher education may further enhance this role. In particular, it may help graduates from a disadvantaged background more effectively overcome market barriers. To improve the functioning of the graduate job-market in the long run, the government also needs to reform the hukou institution and provide effective legal sanctions against various hiring discriminations. The scope and aim of this paper is quite modest. Because graduates in each of our colleges are from a very homogeneous background, it is easier for us to uncover the relationship between college GPA and job-market outcomes. Because we work with a data set on employment opportunity for new college graduates, we can remove the possible influence of gender differences in experience, promotions, job changes, and other factors. But there are also important dimensions that we cannot address, such as college selectivity, occupation, work life earnings (which may differ from starting earnings), location, etc. A full dataset with more information on these aspects would shed more light on graduate job allocation in China.