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金融研究  2023, Vol. 511 Issue (1): 21-38    
  本期目录 | 过刊浏览 | 高级检索 |
郭凯明, 王钰冰, 颜色
中山大学岭南学院,广东广州 510275;
北京大学光华管理学院,北京 100871
The Gender Gap in the Labor Market, Structural Transformation, and Demographic Transition
GUO Kaiming, WANG Yubing, YAN Se
Lingnan College, Sun Yat-sen University;
Guanghua School of Management, Peking University
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摘要 本文从劳动力市场性别差距视角为理解生产结构转型与人口增长转变的互动关系提出了新的理论机制。以脑力劳动密集型生产部门比重提高为特征的生产结构转型将缩小性别工资差距,提高家庭生育养育机会成本并降低生育率,进而增加女性劳动相对供给,这又会进一步提高脑力劳动密集型生产部门比重。直接干预女性劳动定价政策可能会带来女性结构性失业,反而扩大劳动力市场性别差距,且不利于生产结构转型;单方面降低女性生育养育成本政策虽然能够提高生育率,但也可能产生类似不利影响;降低男性生育养育成本政策既可以提高生育率,又可以缩小劳动力市场性别差距,并促进生产结构转型;生育养育成本补贴支出由政府承担的影响比由企业承担更为温和。本文结果表明,促进人口长期均衡发展的政策应与缩小劳动力市场性别差距、推动生产结构转型的政策统筹谋划和协调推进。本文研究为“优化人口发展战略,建立生育支持政策体系”提供了一定的理论依据和参考。
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关键词:  人口增长  生育率  结构转型  性别差距    
Summary:  The modernization of China is inextricably linked to its population. China is undergoing a rapid demographic transition, with a falling fertility rate, an aging population, and a shrinking population dividend. China's labor force has been decreasing since 2015, and its population peaked around 2021. Meanwhile, China's economy is undergoing a salient structural transformation, with a new technological revolution, a new wave of industrial change, and a rapid increase in high-tech manufacturing and modern services on the horizon. This structural transformation may affect population growth, while the demographic transition may also affect the structure of the economy. The relationship between these two processes and the related effects require comprehensive study to help China promote long-term, balanced population growth and promote structural transformation during this new development stage.
We propose a new theoretical mechanism of the gender gap in the labor market to better understand the relationship between structural transformation and demographic transition. Our novel dynamic general equilibrium model incorporates the endogenous evolution of the gender gap in the labor market, structural transformation, and population growth. The model also allows us to fully capture the structural effects of related policies, such as directly intervening in the price of female labor or lowering fertility costs. We focus on the gender gap in the labor market for three main reasons. First, the share of female employment differs greatly among sectors in China, and the sectoral shares of output vary. Second, the industries with the largest share of female labor are mostly skill-intensive. Skilled labor relies on mental labor, whereas unskilled labor relies on physical labor. Compared with male workers, female workers have an advantage in supplying mental labor relative to physical labor. Third, women have an advantage over men in raising children.
We find that because the structural transformation process increases the share of mental-labor-intensive sectors, it narrows the gender wage gap, increasing fertility costs and thus decreasing the fertility rate. This in turn increases the relative supply of female labor and mental labor. When the elasticity of substitution between sectoral outputs is high, the share of mental-labor-intensive sectors continues to increase. Hence, the economy experiences a dynamic transition in which the share of mental-labor-intensive sectors increases, the gender wage gap narrows, the relative supply of female labor increases, and the population growth rate falls. We also find that a policy to intervene in the price of female labor, which is intended to narrow the gender wage gap, may instead result in the structural unemployment of women, widen the gender gap in the labor market, and slow structural transformation. A policy to lower women's fertility costs would increase the fertility rate, but it could have the same side effects. In contrast, a policy to lower the fertility costs of men would increase the fertility rate, narrow the gender gap in the labor market, and promote structural transformation. We also find that the adverse effects of subsidizing childbirth may be reduced when sponsored by the government rather than firms. Thus, a policy to further lower men's fertility costs should be coordinated with a policy to lower those of women, with the former sponsored by firms and the latter by the government.
We derive the policy implications of these findings by suggesting policies to promote long-term, balanced population growth, narrow the gender gap in the labor market, and spur structural transformation. Moreover, the government should establish policies that simultaneously encourage families to have children, improve the structure of the labor supply, and narrow the gender gap. First, the government should act to reduce the opportunity costs of fertility, particularly for men. Second, the government should reduce the economic burden of having children and support firms with more tax breaks and public spending. Third, the government could also explore alternative ways to increase birth rates through public spending and tax reductions.
This paper contributes to the literature by systematically analyzing the relationship between the gender gap in the labor market and China's ongoing structural transformation and demographic transition. The conclusions offer a novel mechanism through which structural transformation and demographic changes affect each other and a comprehensive framework with which to evaluate the structural effects of related policies.
Keywords:  Population Growth    Fertility    Structural Transformation    Gender Gap
JEL分类号:  J11   O11   O41  
基金资助: * 本文感谢国家自然科学基金面上项目(71973156、71973006)、国家社会科学基金重大项目(22ZDA049)资助。感谢匿名审稿人的宝贵意见,文责自负。
通讯作者:  王钰冰,经济学博士研究生,中山大学岭南学院,   
作者简介:  郭凯明,经济学博士,副教授,中山大学岭南学院,
颜 色,经济学博士,副教授,北京大学光华管理学院,E-mail:
郭凯明, 王钰冰, 颜色. 劳动力市场性别差距、生产结构转型与人口增长转变[J]. 金融研究, 2023, 511(1): 21-38.
GUO Kaiming, WANG Yubing, YAN Se. The Gender Gap in the Labor Market, Structural Transformation, and Demographic Transition. Journal of Financial Research, 2023, 511(1): 21-38.
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