China’s new Labor Contract Law took effect on January 2008 and required firms to give migrant workers written contracts, strengthened labor protections for workers and contained penalties for firms that did not follow the labor code. This paper uses survey data of migrant workers in the Pearl River Delta before and after the law and a retrospective question on when workers received their first labor contract to assess the effects of the law on labor outcomes. The evidence shows that the new law increased the percentage of migrant workers with written contracts, which in turn raised social insurance coverage, reduced the likelihood of wage arrears, and raised the likelihood that the worker had a union at their workplace.
Globalization of scientific and technological knowledge has reduced the US share of world scientific activity; increased the foreign-born proportion of scientists and engineers in US universities and in the US labor market; and led to greater US scientific collaborations with other countries. China's massive investments in university education and R&D has in particular made it a special partner for the US in scientific work. These developments have substantial implications for US science and technology policy. This paper suggests that aligning immigration policies more closely to the influx of international students; granting fellowships to students working on turning scientific and technological into commercial innovations; and requiring firms with R&D tax credits or other government R&D funding develop “impact plans” to use their new knowledge to produce innovative products or processes in the US could help the country adjust to the changing global world of science and technology.
This paper examines international and domestic collaborations using data from an original survey of corresponding authors and Web of Science data of articles that had at least one US coauthor in the fields of Particle and Field Physics, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology. The data allow us to investigate the connections among coauthors and the views of corresponding authors about the collaboration. We have four main findings. First, we find that US collaborations have increased across US cities as well as across international borders, with the nature of collaborations across cities resembling that across countries. Second, face-to-face meetings are important in collaborations: most collaborators first met working in the same institution and communicate often through meetings with coauthors from distant locations. Third, the main reason for most collaborations is to combine the specialized knowledge and skills of coauthors, but there are substantial differences in the mode of collaborations between small lab-based science and big science, where international collaborations are more prevalent. Fourth, for biotech, we find that citations to international papers are higher compared to papers with domestic collaborators only, but not for the other two fields. Moreover, in all three fields, papers with the same number of coauthors had lower citations if they were international collaborations. Overall, our findings suggest that all collaborations are best viewed from a framework of collaborations across space broadly, rather than in terms of international as opposed to domestic collaborative activity.
Prior to its economic reforms, China did not have an operating labor market. The government assigned workers to firms rather than allowing them to choose their own place of work and used hukou residency policies to keep rural people from migrating to cities. Firms hired workers that government labor bureaus assigned to them regardless of economic need and paid the workers according to a national wage grid from a payroll budget set by the government. As China reformed its urban economy from the 1980s through the 2000s, the government relaxed its control of workers and firms and gave greater leeway to supply and demand to set employment, wages, and working conditions. This essay tells how China moved from state determination of labor outcomes to a genuine labor market and how the new labor market with Chinese characteristics has operated. It examines three big labor problems that face China on its path of continued economic growth: labor-management conflict; absorbing millions of university graduates into fruitful jobs; and bringing rural persons and informal sector workers fully into the modern economy.
This study analyzes the link between student test scores and the school students attend, the policies and practices of the schools, students’ family background and their parents’ involvement in their education using data from the 2009 wave of the Program for International Student Assessment. We find that 1) a substantial proportion of the variation of test scores within countries is associated with the school students attend; 2) a sizable proportion of the school fixed effects is associated with school policies and teaching practices beyond national policies or other mechanisms that sort students of differing abilities among schools; 3) school fixed effects are a major pathway for the link between family background and test scores. The implication is that what schools do is important in the level and dispersion of test scores, suggesting the value of further analysis of what goes in schools to pin down causal links between policies and practices and test score outcomes.
China's emerging labor market was buffeted by changes in demand and supply and institutional changes in the last two decades. Using the Chinese Urban Household Survey data from 1989 to 2009, our study shows that the market responded with substantial changes in the structure of wages and in employment and types of jobs that workers obtained that mirrors the adjustments found in labor markets in advanced economies. However, the one place where the Chinese labor market appears to diverge from the labor markets in advanced countries is the rapid convergence in earnings and occupational positions of cohorts who entered the job market under more or less favorable conditions. On this dimension, China's labor market seems more flexible than those in other countries. Three related factors may explain this pattern: (1) the rapid growth of China's economy; (2) the high rate of employee turnover; (3) the relative weakness of internal labor markets in China. Bottom line, the Chinese labor market has responded about as well as one could expect to the changes in the demand and supply factors and institutional shocks in this critical period in Chinese economic history.