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Chinese economy, China reforms, markets, foreign investment, China urban


The convening of the Third Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party's Eleventh Congress in late 1978 signaled the beginning of China's reform process. Since then, China has realized significant development in its economic and sociopolitical areas. The Chinese government implemented a gradual reform strategy to revitalize the Chinese economy. Step by step, the government granted greater autonomy to the enterprises and rural households to raise productivity. At the same time, China gradually steered its former centralized planning system toward a market-oriented direction. By introducing the market mechanism into its economy, China modified its development path and moved toward establishing a socialist market economy by the end of the first decade of the 21st century. In the social and political areas, the Chinese government implemented reform policies to foster the economic reform process. Gradually, China opened up its economy to the outside world. The reform policies enabled the Chinese economy to undergo dramatic structural changes. The non-public-owned sectors, such as private and foreign-invested economies, received accelerated development, which, in turn, resulted in changes in the employment structure in China's urban areas. As the Chinese government gradually freed the former rigid labor allocation and migration control systems, the unified employment structures were diversified, especially the ownership structure of employment in China's urban areas. Analyzing empirical employment data shows that following the reform process, and more significantly, following the rapid development of non-public-owned economies, more and more workers found their jobs outside of public-owned sectors. The data analysis shows that this tendency has continued until now. The ownership composition of employment in China's urban areas has been changed from the former one, which was dominated by public ownership toward a diversified composition in which the non public-owned sectors became more and more important. In addition, following the economic transformation, the unemployment and underemployment problems in China's urban areas became serious.


Department of Economics, South Dakota State University

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