In the literature on household work, “gender display” refers to the hypothesis that in order to compensate for their deviation from gender norms women who outearn their husbands tend to do more household work than women whose earnings are similar to those of their husbands. Much of the prior literature on this topic has debated whether or not gender display exists in the United States and other developed countries. However, the extent to which the gender display hypothesis is confirmed may depend on social context. Capitalizing on comparisons of mainland China and Taiwan, this study reexamines the gender display hypothesis in terms of varying social contexts. Our results show that (1) there is some evidence for gender display in rural China and Taiwan, but not in urban China, and (2) the evidence for gender display is more pronounced in Taiwan than in rural China. These results reveal not only that gender display is context-specific, but that the contextual variation of gender display may depend more on gender ideology than on macro-level economic development

Using recent survey data from the Panel Study of Family Dynamics (PSFD) on 1,655 married persons born in 1964 – 1976 in southeastern China and Taiwan, we studied coresidence with elderly parents using a multinomial probit model for coresidence type and an ordered probit model for residential distance. The study yielded four findings: (a) Patrilocal coresidence was more prevalent in Taiwan than in China; (b) matrilocal coresidence was more prevalent in China; (c) practical factors mattered in both places; (d) in Taiwan only, a couple’s economic resources facilitated breaking away from patrilocal coresidence. The findings suggest that, although economic development does not necessarily result in less traditional familial culture, personal economic resources may enable individual couples to deviate from tradition.


Drawing on past research, the author has set forth the following propositions: (1) inequality in China has been severely impacted by certain collective mechanisms, such as regions and work units; (2) traditional Chinese political ideology has promoted merit‐based inequality, with merit being perceived as functional in improving the collective welfare for the masses; and (3) many Chinese people today regard inequality as an inevitable consequence of economic development. Thus, it seems unlikely that social inequality alone would lead to political and social unrest in today’s China.

En este artículo analizamos cómo varía el rendimiento económico de la educación universitaria en la población estadounidense. Siguiendo los principios de ventaja comparativa, generalmente los investigadores asumen que se da una selección positiva, esto es, que los individuos con mayor probabilidad de ir a la universidad son también quienes obtienen mayores réditos de dicha educación. Nuestro análisis sugiere que las personas con la menor probabilidad de obtener una educación universitaria son quienes más se benefician de ésta, controlando por factores económicos y no económicos que influyen en la asistencia a la universidad. Denominamos a esta teoría como hipótesis de selección negativa. Para decidir entre las dos hipótesis, estudiamos los efectos de haber finalizado la universidad sobre los ingresos por estrato de un score de propensión, utilizando un modelo lineal jerárquico innovador con datos provenientes de la Encuesta Nacional Longitudinal de Jóvenes de 1979 y el Estudio Longitudinal de Wisconsin. En ambas cohortes, tanto en mujeres como en hombres, en cada estadio observado a lo largo de la vida, encontramos evidencia que sugiere la selección negativa. Los resultados de los análisis auxiliares proporcionan mayor sustento a la hipótesis de selección negativa.

In this article, we consider how the economic return to a college education varies across members of the U.S. population. Based on principles of comparative advantage, scholars commonly presume that positive selection is at work, that is, individuals who are most likely to select into college also benefit most from college. Net of observed economic and noneconomic factors influencing college attendance, we conjecture that individuals who are least likely to obtain a college education benefit the most from college. We call this theory the negative selection hypothesis. To adjudicate between the two hypotheses, we study the effects of completing college on earnings by propensity score strata using an innovative hierarchical
linear model with data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. For both cohorts, for both men and women, and for every observed stage of the life course, we find evidence suggesting negative selection. Results from auxiliary analyses lend further support to the negative selection hypothesis. 


A causal relationship between economic development and social inequality has long been hypothesized in both economics and sociology. Given the rapid economic growth in contemporary China, how do ordinary Chinese view this relationship? We hypothesize that because the Chinese have recently experienced rapid increases in both economic growth and social inequality, they tend to view economic development as a driving force of social inequality. As a result, individual Chinese, with this causal model in mind, will simply project high levels of inequality onto countries they view as more developed and low levels of inequality onto countries they see as less developed. Using data from a 2006 survey conducted in six Chinese provinces (n = 4,898), we found that a large fraction of Chinese people rated inequality in a country in correspondence to their rating of economic development in the same country. However, while their ratings of economic development resemble those published by the United Nations based on social science data, their ratings of inequality do not match those of the United Nations.

Prior research showed that danwei, the work unit, was very important in determining workers’ social, economic, and political lives in pre-reform urban China. In this paper, we argue that danwei continues to be an agent of social stratification in contemporary urban China. Using data from a 1999 survey we conducted in three large Chinese cities, Wuhan, Shanghai, and Xi’an, we assess the extent to which workers’ socioeconomic well-being depends on the financial conditions of their danwei. Results show that the financial situation of danweiremains one of the most important determinants of earnings and benefits. However, the explanatory power of danwei’s financial situation is much greater for earnings than for benefits.

The patriarchal structure of the traditional Chinese family suggests that sons, more than daughters, provide financial support to elderly parents. The norm of receiving support in old age primarily from sons, however, may have been undermined by dramatic demographic, economic, and cultural changes occurring over the last several decades in China, especially in urban areas. We examine gender differences in adult children’s financial support to parents using a recent data set (‘‘Study of Family Life in Urban China’’) collected in 1999 (N ¼ 1,801). The results show that married daughters, especially those living with parents, provide more financial support to parents than married sons do. This significant gender difference can be primarily explained by daughters’ resources, such as education and income.


Prior research has debated the relative importance of such factors as human capital, political capital and region in determining workers’ earnings in reform-era urban China. This article argues that a main agent of social stratification in contemporary China continues to be the danwei, the work unit. Using data from a 1999 survey we conducted in three large Chinese cities, Wuhan, Shanghai and Xi’an, we assess the extent to which workers’ earnings (including regular wages, bonuses and subsidies) depend on the profitability of their danwei. Results show that the financial situation of the danwei is one of the most important determinants of earnings in today’s urban China. Furthermore, the importance of danwei profitability does not vary by city or by employment sector.

A long-standing objective of friendship research is to identify the effects of personal preference and structural opportunity on intergroup friendship choice. Although past studies have used various methods to separate preference from opportunity, researchers have not yet systematically compared the properties and implications of these methods. This study puts forward a general framework for discrete choice, where choice probability is specified as proportional to the product of preference and opportunity. To implement this framework, the authors propose a modification to the conditional logit model for estimating preference parameters free from the influence of opportunity structure and then compare this approach to several alternative methods for separating preference and opportunity
used in the friendship choice literature. As an empirical example, the authors test hypotheses of homophily and status asymmetry in friendship choice using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The example also demonstrates the approach of conducting a sensitivity analysis to examine how parameter estimates vary by specification of the opportunity structure.

Taiwan has experienced a rapid expansion in higher education since the 1990s. To gauge changes in earnings returns to higher education caused by this expansion, this paper estimates college effects on earnings using both the conventional Mincer-type regression model and the revised truncated-sample model that adjusts for the selection mechanisms into college. We also apply Xie and Wu’s (2005) hierarchical linear model approach to test if the treatment effects of higher education vary as a function of propensity scores strata estimated. Using nationwide data collected in the early 1990s and the early 2000s, we focus on young entrants to the labor market. Our results indicate that average returns to college education remain stable over time. We also find that in both periods, there is a strong negative selection mechanism at work: when workers with a low latent propensity of receiving


During China’s Cultural Revolution, a large proportion of urban youth were forced to go to the countryside as a result of the state’s ‘‘send-down’’ policy. Past research has been ambivalent about the long-term social consequences for the Chinese youth who experienced send-down. Some scholars have suggested that the send-down experience may have yielded beneficial effects. To test this claim, we analyze data from the Survey of Family Life in Urban China, which we conducted in three large cities in 1999. Questions available in this data set allow us to ascertain the send-down experience of both the respondent and a sibling and educational attainment at the times of send-down and return. Our analyses of the new data show that the send-down experience does not seem to have benefited the affected Chinese youth. Differences in social outcomes between those who experienced send-down and those who did not are either non-existent or spurious due to other social processes.

Although an inverse relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and mortality has been well documented for many populations throughout the world, it remains unclear whether this relationship holds true for the oldest old. Most notably, some scholars have suggested that the relationship may disappear at the oldest ages. Using data from the 1998, 2000, and 2002 waves of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, this study examined the relationship between SES and mortality among the oldest old (80 years and older) population in China. The results show the continuing prevalence of SES differentials in mortality—higher SES is significantly associated with lower mortality risks—among the oldest old in China. The authors further show that the relationship holds regardless of how the oldest old are operationalized (as 80 years and older, 90 years and older, or 100 years and older).



Past research has reported that Asian-Americans, and Asian immigrants in particular, have lower earnings than do whites within the same levels of education. However, few studies have explored why this earnings disadvantage exists. This article investigates whether and to what extent this disadvantage can be attributed to the lower value of foreign education in the U.S. job market. By comparing earnings of four groups of workers—U.S.-born whites, U.S.-born Asian-Americans, U.S.-educated Asian immigrants, and Asian immigrants who completed education prior to immigration, we examine earnings gaps between whites and Asian-Americans that are attributable to race, nativity, and place of education. Our results show that (1) there is no earnings difference across U.S.-born whites, U.S.-born Asian-Americans, and U.S.-educated Asian immigrants, and that (2) foreign-educated Asian immigrants earn approximately 16% less than the other three groups of workers. We conclude that place of education plays a crucial role in the stratification of Asian-Americans, whereas race and nativity per se are inconsequential once place of education is taken into account.