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A Counterfactual Analysis on Unlimited Surplus Labor in Rural China

  • Fang Cai
  • Meiyan Wang
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    Using a counterfactual analysis approach, the present paper examines a host of conventional wisdoms relating to issues of farmer, the countryside and agriculture, which are believed to be all originated from the existence of mass surplus laborers in China. When analyzing various sources of statistics, evidence shows that there is no longer a large pool of surplus laborers in rural China as most people believe. Based on this counterfactual result, all related events, such as the direction of agricultural technological changes, the level of comparative productivity of agricultural labor, and the degree of rural-urban income gap must be reconsidered. Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors.Journal compilation (c) 2008 Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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    Article provided by Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in its journal China & World Economy.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 51-65

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:chinae:v:16:y:2008:i:1:p:51-65
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