Relative Concerns of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China
AbstractHow the income of "relevant others" affects well-being has received renewed interest in the recent literature using subjective data. Migrants constitutes a par- ticularly interesting group to study this question: as they changed environment, they are likely to be concerned by several potential reference groups including the people "left behind", other migrants and "natives". We focus here on the huge population of rural-to-urban migrants in China. We exploit a novel dataset that comprises samples of migrants and urban people living in the same cities, as well as rural households mostly surveyed in the provinces where migrants are coming from. After establishing these links, we fi nd that the well-being of migrants is largely af- fected by relative concerns: results point to negative relative concerns toward other migrants and workers of home regions - this status effect is particularly strong for migrants who wish to settle permanently in cities. We fi nd in contrast a positive relative income effect vis-à-vis the urban reference group, interpreted as a signal effect: larger urban incomes indicate higher income prospects for the migrants. A richer pattern is obtained when sorting migrants according to the duration of stay, expectations to return to home countries and characteristics related to family cir- cumstances, work conditions and community ties.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201102.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 27 Jan 2011
Date of revision:
China; relative concerns; well-being.;
Other versions of this item:
- Akay, Alpaslan & Bargain, Olivier & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "Relative concerns of rural-to-urban migrants in China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 421-441.
- Akay, Alpaslan & Bargain, Olivier & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Relative Concerns of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China," IZA Discussion Papers 5480, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- AKAY Alpaslan & BARGAIN Olivier & ZIMMERMANN Klaus F., 2011. "Relative Concerns of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2011-12, CEPS/INSTEAD.
- Alpaslan Akay & Olivier Bargain & Klaus F Zimmermann, 2011. "Relative Concerns of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China," Working Papers 201104, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-02-12 (All new papers)
- NEP-CNA-2011-02-12 (China)
- NEP-DEV-2011-02-12 (Development)
- NEP-MIG-2011-02-12 (Economics of Human Migration)
- NEP-TRA-2011-02-12 (Transition Economics)
- NEP-URE-2011-02-12 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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