Jing Shen, Irena Kogan
Contact Use in Job Placement and Its Impact on the Gender Earnings Gap in Transitional Urban China: Evidence from Xiamen, 1999

International Sociology, 2017: 32, Heft 1, S. 130-154
ISSN: 0268-5809 (print); 1461-7242 (online)

Unlike the majority of existing studies that explain the gender earnings gap from a structural perspective, this study exemplifies to understand the unexplained part of gender earnings inequality from a behavioural perspective. By adopting a dataset collected in a Chinese city, Xiamen, at the establishing stage of China’s market economy, this study takes a focus on how earnings are affected by contact use in job placement. Results based on the Quantile Regression Model show that contact use significantly narrows the average gender earnings gap by enhancing women’s earnings in the lower to middle levels of the earnings hierarchy, but this positive role women’s contact use plays in their earnings outcome disappears in the upper level of the earnings hierarchy. This study thus calls upon scholarly attention to the importance of individual behaviour and its contextually sensitive outcomes in understanding the part of gender inequality that cannot be explained by the existing literature.