Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mobile Phones and Clothes Are Important Status Symbols for Chinese Farmers

05.06.2013
Rural Chinese households are characterised by significant gender differences; men are more influential than women, and the genders also differ in the way they make decisions.

Relative status is important to Chinese farmers. For women, spending money on clothes, restaurants and mobile phones signals status; mobile phones serve the same function for men. All of this is found in a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Xiaojun Yang’s recently presented doctoral thesis is a study of gender-related issues among rural Chinese farmers. Her economic experiments focused on two topics: household decision-making and the farmers’ views of status and consumption.

Yang’s results point to differences between men and women when it comes to long-term economic decisions for their households.
Although both spouses generally have a significant impact on joint decisions, men’s impact is generally stronger. Yang confirms these findings by comparing them with the households’ real-life savings decisions. Perhaps more surprising is how joint decisions can differ from the spouses’ individual decisions:

‘Some of the subjects made more patient and consistent decisions when they were made jointly. Yet a surprisingly large proportion displayed the opposite behaviour – they made worse joint than individual decisions,’ says Yang.

When one spouse makes decisions for the other, there are generally small differences in the decisions made. Yet men tend to make more patient decisions than they expect their spouses would have made in the same situation.
‘Chinese society should acknowledge how decisions are made in Chinese households. Stronger women would help strengthen the welfare of households. Chinese authorities should also increase the general support concerning gender issues in order to improve the economic situation of households over time,’ says Yang.

Rural Chinese households are relatively poor. Yet the issue of relative status and income is very important. As regards status items, certain types of consumption stand out.
‘For women, status is linked to the household’s expenditures on clothes, restaurant visits and mobile phones. For men, mobile phones are important. The study shows that houses and cars are not very important for somebody’s status,’ says Yang, who believes that these findings may be of interest to the Chinese government’s redistribution policy in terms of taxes on income and consumption.

The thesis was written with support from Sida’s environmental economics capacity-building programme.
Thesis title: Household Decision Making, Time Preferences, and Positional Concern: Experimental Evidence from Rural China.
Link to the thesis: https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/32784

For more information, please contact:
Xiaojun Yang, +46 (0)31 786 46 69, xiaojun.yang@economics.gu.se

Annika Koldenius | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>