Extension of social insurance coverage to informal economy workers in China: An administrative and institutional perspective

Jiwei QIAN, Zhuoyi Vincent WEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article reviews administrative issues in the context of decentralized social protection in China. In particular, what are the main obstacles to expanding social insurance coverage for workers in the informal economy? Over the last two decades, China has achieved remarkable progress toward universal social protection when this target was set as a national policy priority. However, the social insurance enrolment of informal economy workers still lags significantly behind. This article reviews the application of the International Labour Organization’s definition of informality in the Chinese context and overviews existing pension and health insurances in China. This article discusses the impact of China’s inter-governmental fiscal relations and decentralized social protection in the multilevel government system. The article highlights that under a system of decentralized managed social insurance many informal economy workers choose to opt out of the system because of low benefits and high compliance costs. This result in deficits in social insurance coverage amongst informal economy workers. Copyright © 2021 International Social Security Association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-102
JournalInternational Social Security Review
Volume74
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Citation

Qian, J., & Wen, Z. (2021). Extension of social insurance coverage to informal economy workers in China: An administrative and institutional perspective. International Social Security Review, 74(1), 79-102. https://doi.org/10.1111/issr.12258

Keywords

  • Social insurance
  • Informal workers
  • Informal employment
  • Coverage
  • China

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Extension of social insurance coverage to informal economy workers in China: An administrative and institutional perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.