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Migrants as second-class workers in urban China? A decomposition analysis

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  • Sylvie Démurger

    ()
    (HIEBS - Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy - University of Hong Kong, GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure - Lyon)

  • Marc Gurgand

    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

  • Shi Li

    (Beijing Normal University - Beijing Normal University, School of Economics and Business Administration - School of Economics and Business Administration - Beijing Normal University)

  • Yue Ximing

    (Renmin University of China - Renmin University of China)

Abstract

In urban China, urban resident annual earnings are 1.3 times larger than long term rural migrant earnings as observed in a nationally representative sample in 2002. Using microsimulation, we decompose this difference into four sources, with particular attention to path dependence and statistical distribution of the estimated effects: (1) different allocation to sectors that pay different wages (sectoral effect); (2) hourly wage disparities across the two populations within sectors (wage effect); (3) different working times within sectors (hours effect); (4) different population structures (population effect). Although sector allocation is extremely contrasted, with very few migrants in the public sector and very few urban residents working as self-employed, the sectoral effect is not robust to the path followed for the decomposition. We show that the migrant population has a comparative advantage in the private sector: increasing its participation into the public sector does not necessarily improve its average earnings. The opposite holds for the urban residents. The second main finding is that population effect is significantly more important than wage or hours effects. This implies that the main source of disparity is pre-market (education opportunities) rather than on-market.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00269119.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00269119

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Keywords: chinese labor market ; discrimination ; earnings differentials ; migration;

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  1. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
  2. Chen, Yi & Demurger, Sylvie & Fournier, Martin, 2005. "Earnings Differentials and Ownership Structure in Chinese Enterprises," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 933-58, July.
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  14. Anqing Shi & Shuming Bao, 2007. "Migration, Education and Rural Development: Evidence from China 2000 Population Census Data," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 163-177.
  15. Zhong Zhao, 2005. "Migration, Labor Market Flexibility, and Wage Determination in China: A Review," Labor and Demography 0507009, EconWPA.
  16. John Knight & Linda Yueh, 2004. "Urban Insiders versus Rural Outsiders: Complementarity or Competition in China`s Urban Labour Market?," Economics Series Working Papers 217, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  17. Liu, Pak-Wai & Zhang, Junsen & Chong, Shu-Chuen, 2004. "Occupational segregation and wage differentials between natives and immigrants: evidence from Hong Kong," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 395-413, February.
  18. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David J. & Woodruff, Christopher, 2009. "Measuring microenterprise profits: Must we ask how the sausage is made?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 19-31, January.
  19. Zhao, Yaohui, 1999. "Labor Migration and Earnings Differences: The Case of Rural China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(4), pages 767-82, July.
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