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The Role of Migrant Networks in Labor Migration: The Case of China

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  • Yaohui Zhao

Abstract

Using recent household survey data from rural China, this article investigates determinants of labor migration, paying special attention to the role of migrant networks. Migrant networks are measured by the number of early migrants from the village, comprised of experienced migrants who continue their migratory activities and return migrants. Observations of early migrants are excluded from regression analyses to enable identification. Results show that experienced migrants have a positive and significant effect on subsequent migration, but return migrants do not. This implies that migrant networks are important, and their effects materialize through practical assistance in the process of migration. (JEL "J61", "O15", "Z13") Copyright 2003 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Yaohui Zhao, 2003. "The Role of Migrant Networks in Labor Migration: The Case of China," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(4), pages 500-511, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:21:y:2003:i:4:p:500-511
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Banerjee, Biswajit, 1984. "Information flow, expectations and job search : Rural-to-urban migration process in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-3), pages 239-257.
    2. Zhang, Xiaobo & Li, Guo, 2003. "Does guanxi matter to nonfarm employment?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 315-331, June.
    3. Meng,Xin, 2009. "Labour Market Reform in China," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521121118, May.
    4. Denise Hare, 1999. "'Push' versus 'pull' factors in migration outflows and returns: Determinants of migration status and spell duration among China's rural population," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 45-72.
    5. Schwartz, Aba, 1973. "Interpreting the Effect of Distance on Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(5), pages 1153-1169, Sept.-Oct.
    6. J. Edward Taylor, 1987. "Undocumented Mexico—U.S. Migration and the Returns to Households in Rural Mexico," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 69(3), pages 626-638.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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