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Are all Migrants Really Worse off in Urban Labour Markets?: New empirical evidence from China

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  • Jason Gagnon
  • Theodora Xenogiani
  • Chunbing Xing

Abstract

The rapid and massive increase in rural-to-urban worker flows to the coast of China has drawn recent attention to the welfare of migrants working in urban regions, particularly to their working conditions and pay; serious concern is raised regarding pay discrimination against rural migrants. This paper uses data from a random draw of the 2005 Chinese national census survey to shed more light on the discrimination issue, by making comparisons of earnings and the sector of work between rural migrants on one hand, and urban residents and urban migrants on the other. Contrary to popular belief, we find no earnings discrimination against rural migrants compared to urban residents. However, rural migrants are found to be discriminated in terms of the sector in which they work, with a vast majority working in the informal sector lacking adequate social protection. L’augmentation rapide et massive des mouvements ruraux-à-urbains d’ouvriers vers la côte de la Chine a appelé à l’attention récente le bien-être des migrants travaillant dans des régions urbaines, en particulier vis-à-vis de leurs conditions de travail et de salaire ; la préoccupation a d’autant plus augmenté concernant la discrimination de salaire contre les migrants ruraux. Ce document emploie des données d’un tirage aléatoire du recensement national chinois de 2005 pour éclaircir la question de la discrimination en faisant des comparaisons de revenus et de secteur de travail entre les migrants ruraux d’une part, et les résidents et migrants urbains de l’autre. Contrairement à la croyance populaire, nous ne trouvons aucune discrimination de revenus entre migrants ruraux et résidents urbains. Cependant, les migrants ruraux s’avèrent être distingués en termes de secteur dans lequel ils travaillent, une grande majorité d’entre eux travaillant dans le secteur informel, caractérisé par un manque d’accès à une protection sociale adéquate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 278.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:278-en

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Keywords: migration; informal employment; China; discrimination; emploi informel; migration; discrimination; Chine;

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References

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  1. Sylvie Démurger & Marc Gurgand & Li Shi & Yue Ximing, 2008. "Migrants as second-class workers in urban China? A decomposition analysis," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586783, HAL.
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  3. Jason Gagnon & Theodora Xenogiani & Chunbing Xing, 2012. "Are All Migrants Really Worse Off in Urban Labour Markets? New Empirical Evidence from China," Working Papers id:4698, eSocialSciences.
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  8. WANG Tianhong & Atsushi MARUYAMA & Masao KIKUCHI, 2000. "Rural-Urban Migration And Labor Markets In China: A Case Study In A Northeastern Province," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 38(1), pages 80-104, 03.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ariga, Kenn & Ohtake, Fumio & Sasaki, Masaru & Wu, Zheren, 2012. "Wage Growth through Job Hopping in China," IZA Discussion Papers 7104, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Alexander M. Danzer & Barbara Dietz & Kseniia Gatskova & Achim Schmillen, 2013. "Showing off to the new neighbors? Income, socioeconomic status and consumption patterns of internal migrants," Working Papers, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies) 330, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
  3. Wenshu Gao & Russell Smyth, 2012. "Returns to Schooling in Urban China, 2001-2010: Evidence from Three Waves of the China Urban Labor Survey," Monash Economics Working Papers 50-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  4. Giulietti, Corrado & Ning, Guangjie & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2011. "Self-employment of rural-to-urban migrants in China," CEPR Discussion Papers 8473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Gagnon, Jason & Xenogiani, Theodora & Xing, Chunbing, 2011. "Are All Migrants Really Worse Off in Urban Labour Markets? New Empirical Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 6268, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Cui, Yuling & Nahm, Daehoon & Tani, Massimiliano, 2013. "Self-Employment in China: Are Rural Migrant Workers and Urban Residents Alike?," IZA Discussion Papers 7191, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Fields, Gary S. & Song, Yang, 2013. "A Theoretical Model of the Chinese Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 7278, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. 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).

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