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Vol. 67, No. 1, pp. 47-68 (2016)

“Changes in the Occupational Structure of Chinese Workforce in the Course of China’s Industrialization and Urbanization, 1912-1952”
Harry X. Wu (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)

This paper makes a preliminary attempt to fill a long-standing employment data gap in the study of China’s economic growth in the Republican era. Instead of searching for other data than that used in the previous studies, it tries to organize the available estimates by various sources in a consistent occupational framework and reassess them against the macroeconomic background that might have impacts on the performance of the economy and hence its employment and occupational distribution. It focuses mainly on the construction of the 1915 benchmark and the revision of the existing 1933 and 1949-1952 benchmarks. It also provides time-series estimates for the employment by major occupation from the demand-side and for the total and working-age population from the supply-side of the system. The two sides are linked by the estimated labor participation rate. Finally, it gauges the urbanization rate of the population implied by the change of the urban employment.