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Oya, Carlos and Pontara, Nicola (2015) 'Introduction: understanding rural wage employment in developing countries.' In: Oya, Carlos and Pontara, Nicola, (eds.), Rural Wage Employment in Developing Countries. Theory, Evidence and Policy. London: Routledge, pp. 1-36. (ISS Studies in Rural Livelihoods)

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This chapter explains historical evolution of wage employment in China's rural economy in the past two centuries. It documents the growth of various forms of wage work in rural China during the Reform era and analyse the political-economic conditions that gave rise to the unique patterns of wage employment growth. Wage employment is a result of the growth of capitalist agriculture, which proceeds in a spatially uneven manner. The chapter examines the fluidity, complexity and fragmentation of wage employment in rural China today, with a particular focus on the various ways in which wage employment is combined with family farming in rural households' pursuit of social reproduction. The economics literature, in its focus on the many similarities of household businesses and privately owned township-and-village enterprises (TVEs), has missed a fundamental difference between them: the former is household-based petty commodity production. The chapter concludes with the impact of rising wage employment on rural social differentiation and class dynamics.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
ISBN: 9780415686495
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2015 08:53

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