The Effects of Chinese Trade Unions on Workers

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


Interest on the economic effects of Chinese trade unions has been growing recently. However, to date the limited number of studies in the literature only provide mixed results and suffer from some major conceptual and empirical limitations. This project aims to provide a more rigorous analysis of the Chinese union effects by addressing these limitations. It will introduce a new theoretical lens to capture the unique institutional features of Chinese unions and develop hypotheses from this new perspective. The hypotheses will be tested by analyzing three large datasets: one at the enterprise level and two at the individual level. While each of these datasets has its own limitation, together they allow us to take careful consideration of the unique organizing method, organizational structure, internal political process, and external constraints and mandates of Chinese unions when analyzing their effects on workers.