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Social Protection and Migration in China: What Can Protect Migrants from Economic Uncertainty?

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Author Info

  • Song, Lina

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Appleton, Simon

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

Job-related welfare entitlements are common in China. Migrants who do not hold urban registration are, in principle, not entitled to job-related welfare even if they are employees in the State sector. The official explanation is that rural-urban migrants are allocated access to farm land in their rural origins, and hence their welfare rights and security are covered by this entitlement to the use of land. In this paper, we look at whether migrants still benefited from these opportunities. Second, we investigate whether it is the poor, the unentitled and the vulnerable that are excluded from public protection programs. Chinese official social protection programs are, like in most western countries, officially designated as being for poverty alleviation. However would such programs still be targeted in ways that limit their coverage, curtail the range of basic needs provided for and allocate benefits very unequally? Thirdly, we explore whether households with favourable productive characteristics are more likely to get into social protection programs. Here, the ongoing debate concerning equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes has some relevance. Finally, we examine the roles social networks or Guanxi (the Chinese term for social connections) may play in dealing with economic shocks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3594.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Ingrid Nielsen and Russell, Smyth (eds.) Migration and Social Protection in China, World Scientific Publishing, 2008
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3594

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Keywords: social protection; migration; entitlement; China;

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Cited by:
  1. Ingrid Nielsen & Russell Smyth & Qingguo Zhai, 2010. "Subjective Well-Being of China’s Off-Farm Migrants," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 315-333, June.
  2. Gao, Qin & Yang, Sui & Li, Shi, 2012. "Labor contracts and social insurance participation among migrant workers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1195-1205.
  3. Giulietti, Corrado & Ning, Guangjie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Self-Employment of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China," IZA Discussion Papers 5805, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Siegel, Melissa & Neubourg, Chris de, 2011. "A historical perspective on immigration and social protection in the Netherlands," MERIT Working Papers 014, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  5. Cui, Yuling & Nahm, Daehoon & Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "The Determinants of Rural Migrants' Employment Choice in China: Results from a Joint Estimation," IZA Discussion Papers 6968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Ming-Zhu Wang & Marco Amati & Frank Thomalla, 2012. "Understanding the vulnerability of migrants in Shanghai to typhoons," Natural Hazards, International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 60(3), pages 1189-1210, February.

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