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Job mobility of residents and migrants in urban China

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  • Knight, John
  • Yueh, Linda

Abstract

The large-scale reform of the state-owned sector and the development of a private sector in the 1990s changed the nature of employment in urban China. The system of allocated, lifelong jobs (the iron rice bowl) that had previously prevailed under state planning was eroded, permitting more labour turnover and mobility. The degree of mobility of urban workers in China appears not to have been researched, no doubt because there was so little until recently. Using an urban household survey for 1999 that has rich data on job duration, job change and the reasons for it, we provide a first analysis of inter-firm mobility in the urban labour market, its evolution and its explanation. A distinction is made between the, institutionally favoured, urban residents and the rural-urban migrants. The mobility rate of migrants greatly exceeds that of urban residents. For both groups the extent, patterns, determinants and consequences of mobility are explored.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 637-660

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:32:y:2004:i:4:p:637-660

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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References

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  1. Keith, Kristen, 1993. "Reputation, Voluntary Mobility and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 559-63, August.
  2. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Search Unemployment with On-the-Job Search," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 457-75, July.
  3. Mincer, Jacob & Higuchi, Yoshio, 1988. "Wage structures and labor turnover in the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 97-133, June.
  4. Knight, John B & Song, Lina, 1991. "The Determinants of Urban Income Inequality in China," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(2), pages 123-54, May.
  5. Knight, John & Song, Lina, 1995. "Towards a Labour Market in China," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 97-117, Winter.
  6. Knight, J & Song, L & Huaibin, J, 1997. "Chinese Rural Migrants in Urban Enterprises : Three Perspectives," Economics Series Working Papers 99190, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Bruce Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Pareto Inefficiency of Market Economies: Search and Efficiency Wage Models," NBER Working Papers 2651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Knight, J B & Sabot, R H, 1982. "From Migrants to Proletarians: Employment Experience, Mobility and Wages in Tanzania," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 44(3), pages 199-226, August.
  9. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  10. Appleton, Simon & Knight, John & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2002. "Labor retrenchment in China: Determinants and consequences," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 252-275.
  11. Hashimoto, Masanori & Raisian, John, 1985. "Employment Tenure and Earnings Profiles in Japan and the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 721-35, September.
  12. Collier, P & Knight, J B, 1985. "Seniority Payments, Quit Rates, and Internal Labour Markets in Britain and Japan," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 47(1), pages 19-32, February.
  13. Knight, John & Song, Lina, 1999. "The Rural-Urban Divide: Economic Disparities and Interactions in China," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293309, September.
  14. Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
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