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'Push' versus 'pull' factors in migration outflows and returns: Determinants of migration status and spell duration among China's rural population

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  • Denise Hare
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    Abstract

    The tremendous abundance of labour in rural areas is one of the most perplexing issues currently facing policy-makers in the People's Republic of China. Central and municipal authorities fear that large-scale labour movement out of rural China will have politically and socially destabilising effects on the cities and towns to which workers migrate. Recognising that there may be positive economic aspects associated with rural labour outflow, this research seeks to shed light on the transfer process with an emphasis on identifying the factors which motivate the observed frequent movement of migrants between their origin and destination points. Using household data collected in rural China, we investigate both out migration and return migration decisions. We demonstrate that observed migration patterns are the outcome of informed, rational responses to an environment filled with uncertainty and incomplete markets. To the extent that policymakers wish to minimise the more transient component of rural out-migration, attention must be paid to the underlying rural and urban institutions which give rise to the observed migration patterns.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 35 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 45-72

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:35:y:1999:i:3:p:45-72

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    Cited by:
    1. Sylvie Démurger, 2012. "Mapping Modes of Rural Labour Migration in China," Working Papers 1209, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
    2. Bingqin Li, 2004. "Urban social exclusion in transitional China," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6309, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Terry Sicular & Yaohui Zhao, 2002. "Earnings and Labor Mobility in Rural China: Implications for China's WTO Entry," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20028, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
    4. Bingqin Li, 2004. "Urban Social Exclusion in Transitional China," CASE Papers 082, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    5. Kuiper, Marijke & van Tongeren, Frank, 2005. "Growing together or growing apart ? a village level study of the impact of the Doha Round on rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3696, The World Bank.
    6. Shunfeng Song & Chengsi Wang & Jianghuai Zheng, 2012. "Industrial Upgrade, Employment Shock, And Land Centralization In China," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(4), pages 523-532, October.
    7. Deininger, Klaus & Olinto, Pedro, 2001. "Rural Nonfarm Employment and Income Diversification in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 455-465, March.
    8. Zhong Zhao, 2005. "Migration, Labor Market Flexibility, and Wage Determination in China: A Review," Labor and Demography 0507009, EconWPA.
    9. Zhong Zhao & Zhaopeng Qu, 2013. "Wage Inequality of Chinese Rural-Urban Migrants Between 2002 and 2007," Working Papers PMMA 2013-04, PEP-PMMA.
    10. Shi, Anqing, 2006. "Migration in towns in China, a tale of three provinces : evidence from preliminary tabulations of 2000 census," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3890, The World Bank.

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