Market Transition, Labor Market Segmentation and Organizational Mobility

Social Sciences in China

Vol. 38, No. 4, 2017


Market Transition, Labor Market Segmentation and Organizational Mobility



Li Lulu, Zhu Bin and Wang Yu


On the basis of data from the 2008 Chinese General Social Survey, this paper analyzes the changing organizational job mobility patterns of members of society in a segmented labor market. The structure of labor market segmentation is based on differences in the power of different labor sectors to distribute social resources, leading to further differences in their power of “attraction” or “repulsion” that influence people’s organizational mobility. These forces are strongest in the primary labor market, lessening the possibility that workers will leave their jobs and raising the possibility of cross-sector mobility. In the course of China’s market transition, changes in the power to allocate social resources have entailed changes in the structure of labor market segmentation, changes that have been reflected in organizational mobility. Our examination of changing modes of organizational mobility reveals that the structure of urban labor market segmentation has changed from being mainly systemic at the outset of reform and opening up to the current coexistence of systemic segmentation and market segmentation.


Keywords: labor market segmentation, organizational mobility, systemic segmentation, market segmentation