Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2008, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (12): 1268-1276.doi: 10.11821/xb200812004

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Transformations and Local Effects of China's Township and Village Enterprises in the 1990s

YANG Xiaoguang11, FAN Jie2   

  1. 1. Zhejiang Urban & Rural Planning Design Institute, Hangzhou 310007, China;
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2008-01-21 Revised:2008-08-04 Online:2008-12-25 Published:2008-12-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.4040101


This paper, using the method of substantial evidence research, studies transformations and effects of China's township and village enterprises in the late 20th century based on the field investigated data for seven towns. The transformations of township and village enterprises in China have influenced the town government revenue, employees' wages and welfare and village labor force migration. Results show that, in this connection, the transformation of collective enterprises has played an important role in the private sector's development since the 1990s. One indication is the dramatic decline of the employees in collective enterprises and the increases of employees in private enterprises. On the other hand, the privatization of industrial enterprises created problems for the town government such as the unemployment in collective enterprises and the private enterprises' reduction of profits to the local government. The process of privatizing collective enterprises together with tax reforms caused the main drop in income for townships; the wages of township and village enterprises' employees containing the growth of different degrees, but the increasing range is not very big. The welfare of township and village enterprises' employees obviously did not change, and most workers are engaged in agricultural activity with their families. Sticking to agricultural activities granted them the security to return to farming in case that they lost their nonagricultural jobs. Because the township and village enterprises have come to slow growth, and the private enterprises increased the production by increasing labor time and intensity, the rural enterprises are absorbing less surplus labor force than before. The township and village enterprises prefer applicants from their own township. Only when the local labor market is exhausted can the employees from outside the township be employed.

Key words: China, township and village enterprises, transformation, local effects