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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Intra-province Migration in Guangdong

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  • Peter Simmons
  • Yuan Yuan Xie

Abstract

Guangdong is one of the fastest growing Chinese provinces and has a high level of gross migration flows. Its intra-province migration is 2.7 times higher than its inter-province migration. We study migration between the 18 prefecture-level divisions of Guangdong during 1990-1999 using annual data. In our framework, migration decisions are based on differences in five characteristics between origin and destination: expected urban wage, marriage opportunities, urbanisation and (to reflect profitability of self employed migrants) population and capital stock. We formulate a panel regression equation allowing for both panel heteroscedasticity and inter-cities heterogeneity in the migration process. Remarkably we find that there is a high degree of homogeneity between cities, the only differences being in the impacts of capital stock and degree of urbanisation. Even here, nearly 70% of cities have identical effects. Despite the high level of net migration demonstrated to be largely caused by the above characteristics, intercity inequalities as measured by some of these forces has been growing over our time period. This suggests that a locational equilibrium has not yet been achieved.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 12/16.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:12/16

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Keywords: Intra-provincial migration; intercity inequalities; multivariate choices; equilibrium.;

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  1. Paul Krugman, 1992. "A Dynamic Spatial Model," NBER Working Papers 4219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Italianer, Alexander, 1985. "A small-sample correction for the likelihood ratio test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 315-317.
  3. Poncet, Sandra, 2006. "Provincial migration dynamics in China: Borders, costs and economic motivations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 385-398, May.
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