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Title:Marriage, motherhood, childcare arrangements and work: female labor force participation and informal employment under Chinese economic reform
Author(s):Lian, Bin
Director of Research:Buckley, Cynthia
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Buckley, Cynthia
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Liao, Tim; Anderson, Carolyn; Allendorf, Keera
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Family to work conflict
Market reform
Abstract:My dissertation presents a comprehensive study of the ways in which Chinese women seek to balance family and work obligations during the market transition from 1991 to 2011. I study family obligations arise from marriage, motherhood, and childcare arrangements along Chinese women’s life course, and how they impact on Chinese women’s participation in the labor force and involvement in the informal economy—jobs marked by long working hours, low wages, and little benefits. China experiences rapid economic growth and institutional re-structuring in the market transition where the gender equality legacies in the socialist era largely evaporate. Will family obligations erode women’s employment and economic well-being in the decoupling of social welfares from the state-owned enterprises and the declining state support of gender-equal policies in the workplace? By analyzing trends in women’s employment over time, I illustrate the institutional causes and consequences of women’s labor market attainment during Chinese market transition. Data of this study come from the ongoing longitudinal China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS). I treat the CHNS as cross-sectional and use eight waves of the survey (waves 1991, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011) with multilevel mixed effect logistic models and multinomial logistic models. I find a negative marriage effect on women’s labor force participation which is significant only at the beginning period of marriage transition. For women who are already employed, marriage does not necessarily lower their participation in the formal economy. There is a negative motherhood effect on women’s participation in the labor force and formal employment, which is the strongest for women with nursery age children (age 0 to 2). Childcare arrangements have significant impacts on women’s work patterns. Institutional childcare (such as nurseries, public or private childcare centers) increases women’s likelihood of labor force participation and formal employment. Informal childcare (provided by kinships or neighbors) enhances women’s labor force participation, but its effect on women’s formal employment is less prominent. I find a uniformly increasing and significantly negative period effect on women’s labor force participation and their involvement in the formal economy, which expands from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s. Marketization intensifies the family and work conflict. It is increasingly difficult for women to balance work and family as market reform progresses.
Issue Date:2017-07-06
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Bin Lian
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08

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