Health, Gender, and Migrant Workers in China


This colloquium will feature presentations by two visiting scholars from China. First, Dr. Huijun Liu will present research on health risks associated with gender imbalance in China. The problems of abnormal sex ratio at birth and high female infant mortality have plagued many Asian countries with a strong male preference and gender inequality. In China, these problems having lasted for more than twenty years and contributed to a serious gender imbalance in the population. As a direct consequence, “surplus men” or “forced bachelors,” are expected to increase to more than 30 million. Dr. Liu will discuss the potential health risks and other social problems likely to be exacerbated by this large-scale gender imbalance in China.

Second, Dr. Dahai Zhao will present “How Is Health Insurance Coverage Utilized among Migrant Workers in Shanghai, China?” According to the regulations of the Chinese national and Shanghai municipal governments, migrant workers employed in Shanghai should all be entitled to the Shanghai Migrant Worker Hospitalization Insurance (SMWHI) without premium and the vast majority should also have coverage through the New Rural Cooperative Medical System (NRCMS). Dr. Zhao will present results from research, conducted jointly with Dr. Wei Yu and Dr. Alan M. Garber, examining the status of the coverage and utilization of health insurance among migrant workers employed in Shanghai. Through their study, they found that a significant minority of migrant workers in Shanghai still had no health insurance, and that health insurance utilization among migrant workers was strongly limited by hospital location.

Huijun Liu is an associate professor in the Public Policy and Administration School at Xi'an Jiaotong University, China. She received her PhD in management science and engineering from the Management School of Xi'an Jiaotong University. Her main areas of research focus on gender imbalance, reproductive health, vulnerability, and social support. Her current research focuses on how gender imbalance and migration amplify the risk of HIV transmission in China. Liu has published over twenty papers in Chinese academic journals, including China Soft Science, Population and Economics, Psychological Science Advance, Collection of Women's Studies, and Modern Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Zhao is an assistant professor with the School of Public Economics and Administration at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE), and a fellow with the Center for Health Policy at SUFE. He earned a master's degree in medicine in 2005 and a PhD in 2008, both from Fudan University, China.


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