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The rise of migration and the fall of self employment in rural China's labor market

Author

Listed:
  • Wang, Xiaobing
  • Huang, Jikun
  • Zhang, Linxiu
  • Rozelle, Scott

Abstract

When examining questions regarding the Lewis model, one of the most salient set of facts involves the shift of labor between agricultural and the off farm sectors. The goal of this paper is to answer several questions about the nature of this movement: How has the expansion of the economy after 2000 affected off farm labor market participation? Has off farm labor continued to rise? What is this rise being driven by—migrant wage earners or self employment opportunities? What is, in part, driving these trends? Using a national representative set of data that consists of two waves of surveys done in 2000 and 2008 in six provinces, the paper finds that off farm labor market participation has continued to rise steadily in the early 2000s. However, there has been a structural break in the trends of occupational choice before and after 2000. Unlike before 2000, after 2000 migration's growth accelerated; during this same period the self employed subsector stagnated. The number of wage earning migrants in 2008 was greater than the number of those in the self employed subsector. The data also show that the rise in wage-earning migration is mainly being driven by the younger cohorts. Our analysis also shows that the rise of migration is happening in conjunction with a rising unskilled wage.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Xiaobing & Huang, Jikun & Zhang, Linxiu & Rozelle, Scott, 2011. "The rise of migration and the fall of self employment in rural China's labor market," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 573-584.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:22:y:2011:i:4:p:573-584
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2011.07.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ana I. Moreno-Monroy & Shu Yu & Victoria Euse, 2016. "Urban Employment in Small Businesses and the Level of Economic Development: Evidence from Chinese Cities," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 53-71, March.
    2. repec:ers:journl:v:xx:y:2017:i:2b:p:261-282 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Wang, Xiaobing & Yamauchi, Futoshi & Otsuka, Keijiro & Huang, Jikun, 2016. "Wage Growth, Landholding, and Mechanization in Chinese Agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 30-45.
    4. Ram Ranjan, 2015. "How Prolonged Droughts And Farm Subsidies Influence Entrepreneurial Ventures By Farmers," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(04), pages 1-21, December.
    5. Wang, Xiaobing & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 2017. "Off-farm employment and agricultural specialization in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 155-165.
    6. Xiaobing Wang & Linghui Han & Jikun Huang & Linxiu Zhang & Scott Rozelle, 2016. "Gender and Off-farm Employment: Evidence from Rural China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 24(3), pages 18-36, May.
    7. Yu, Xiaohua & Abler, David, 2016. "Matching food with mouths: A statistical explanation to the abnormal decline of per capita food consumption in rural China," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 36-43.
    8. Liu, Ying & Huang, Jikun & Zikhali, Precious, 2016. "The bittersweet fruits of industrialization in rural China: The cost of environment and the benefit from off-farm employment," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-10.
    9. Sylvie Démurger & Li Shi, 2012. "Migration, Remittances and Rural Employment Patterns : Evidence from China," Working Papers 1230, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    10. Wong, Ho Lun & Luo, Renfu & Zhang, Linxiu & Rozelle, Scott, 2013. "Providing quality infrastructure in rural villages: The case of rural roads in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 262-274.
    11. Chen, Qin & Song, Zheng, 2014. "Accounting for China's urbanization," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 485-494.
    12. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00744438 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:zbw:espost:171173 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:29:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_s41287-017-0081-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Zhao, Qiran & Yu, Xiaohua & Wang, Xiaobing & Glauben, Thomas, 2014. "The impact of parental migration on children's school performance in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 43-54.
    16. Zhou, Yexin & Chen, Mo & Ye, Jingyi, 2014. "Self-employment Choices of Rural Migrants in China: Distance and Social Network," Stockholm School of Economics Asia Working Paper Series 2014-31, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute.
    17. repec:spr:ariqol:v:13:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11482-017-9521-z is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:eee:energy:v:142:y:2018:i:c:p:215-227 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Hongqin Chang & Jing Liu & Yanyun Gao, 2017. "Land tenure policy and women’s off-farm employment in rural China," Working Papers PMMA 2017-03, PEP-PMMA.
    20. Xiaobing Wang & Futoshi Yamauchi & Jikun Huang, 2016. "Rising wages, mechanization, and the substitution between capital and labor: evidence from small scale farm system in China," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 47(3), pages 309-317, May.
    21. Jia, Xiangping & Xiang, Cheng & Huang, Jikun, 2013. "Microfinance, self-employment, and entrepreneurs in less developed areas of rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 94-103.
    22. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9765-z is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-employment; Migration; Wages; Rural China;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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