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Human capital externalities and rural-urban migration: Evidence from rural China

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  • Liu, Zhiqiang

Abstract

This study examines the determinants of rural-urban migration paying special attention to the role of human capital externalities in the rural sector. Using data from a well-known household survey in China, we find that in rural areas human capital externalities have a discouraging effect on rural-urban migration--everything else being the same, a rural resident from a county rich in human capital is less likely to migrate to the city than his counterpart from another county poor in human capital endowment. We also find some evidence that human capital exerts positive external effects on the likelihood for a rural resident to choose off-farm employment and on labor income in the rural sector. These results are robust to alternative model specifications and estimation methods. One important policy implication from this study is that expanding education opportunities in rural areas can help curtail rural-urban migration and therefore alleviate urban unemployment pressure.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Zhiqiang, 2008. "Human capital externalities and rural-urban migration: Evidence from rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 521-535, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:19:y:2008:i:3:p:521-535
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    Cited by:

    1. Magnani, Elisabetta & Zhu, Rong, 2012. "Gender wage differentials among rural–urban migrants in China," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 779-793.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0195 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Chad Meyerhoefer & C. Chen, 2011. "The effect of parental labor migration on children’s educational progress in rural china," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 379-396, September.
    4. Wang, Chunchao & Zhang, Chenglei & Ni, Jinlan, 2015. "Social network, intra-network education spillover effect and rural–urban migrants' wages: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 156-168.
    5. Thomas K. Bauer & Matthias Vorell, 2010. "External Eff ects of Education: Human Capital Spillovers in Regions and Firms," Ruhr Economic Papers 0195, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Bauer, Thomas K. & Vorell, Matthias, 2010. "External Effects of Education: Human Capital Spillovers in Regions and Firms," Ruhr Economic Papers 195, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Liu, Qian, 2012. "Unemployment and labor force participation in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 18-33.

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