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Self-selection and Earnings of Migrants: Evidence from Rural China

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  • Zheren Wu

Abstract

Using data from a rural household survey in China, this paper explores the link between employment choice (nonworking, local farm work, local nonfarm work and migratory work) and migrant earnings. We find significant self-selection in migration. Youths, men, better-educated individuals and those in good health are more likely to migrate. In terms of unobserved characteristics, we find positive selection in migration to be related to the alternatives of not working and local farm work, and negative selection to be related to local nonfarm work. Controlling for self-selection, the wage returns to gender (male), education and health are lower than those obtained from OLS, and the returns to experience are higher. More importantly, we find different self-selection between individuals who have moved as pioneers and migrants from households in which other members have already migrated. Copyright 2010 The Author. Journal compilation 2010 East Asian Economic Association and Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • Zheren Wu, 2010. "Self-selection and Earnings of Migrants: Evidence from Rural China," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 23-44, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:asiaec:v:24:y:2010:i:1:p:23-44
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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. Wang, Wen & Li, Qiang & Lien, Donald, 2016. "Human capital, political capital, and off-farm occupational choices in rural China," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 412-422.
    3. Sara Hsu & Shiyin Jiang & Halcott Heyward, 2010. "The Global Crisis’ Impact upon China’s Rural Migrants," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 39(2), pages 167-185.
    4. Dan Liu & Daniel Tsegai & David Litaker & Joachim Braun, 2015. "Under regional characteristics of rural China: a clearer view on the performance of the New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 407-431, December.
    5. Liu, Dan & Tsegai, Daniel W., 2011. "The New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) and its implications for access to health care and medical expenditure: Evidence from rural China," Discussion Papers 116746, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

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