IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/chieco/v22y2011i4p669-692.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Migration constraints and development: Hukou and capital accumulation in China

Author

Listed:
  • Vendryes, Thomas

Abstract

Rural–urban migration flows are a crucial corollary of economic development. The adverse or beneficial effects of internal migration, for sending as well as receiving areas, and the definition of optimal migration policies, have remained much discussed issues since the seminal works of Harris and Todaro (1970). This debate is especially acute in China where the “household registration system” (hukou) acts as a strong constraint on individual migration. This paper aims to assess the consequences of hukou through a simple model of a developing dual economy with overlapping generations. Contrary to existing studies focused on the contemporaneous allocation of economic resources, it deals with the dynamic consequences of migration flows and migration policies. It shows that, in fairly general circumstances, hukou-related migration constraints can actually hasten development, understood as the transfer of the labor force to the modern sector, driven by capital accumulation. The hukou system could thus be one of the causes of the extremely high Chinese saving rate and of the high pace of Chinese development. Insights from the model are confronted with stylized facts from the Chinese development, and theoretical results are especially consistent with the effects of the 2001 “towns and small cities” reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Vendryes, Thomas, 2011. "Migration constraints and development: Hukou and capital accumulation in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 669-692.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:22:y:2011:i:4:p:669-692
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2011.08.006
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043951X11000861
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Zhang, Zongyi & Liu, Aying & Yao, Shujie, 2001. "Convergence of China's regional incomes: 1952-1997," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 243-258.
    2. Duo Qin, 2003. "Determinants of household savings in China and their role in quasi-money supply," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(3), pages 513-537, September.
    3. Boyreau-Debray, Genevieve & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2004. "Pitfalls of a State-Dominated Financial System: The Case of China," CEPR Discussion Papers 4471, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Du, Yang & Park, Albert & Wang, Sangui, 2005. "Migration and rural poverty in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 688-709, December.
    5. Cai, Fang & Wang, Dewen & Du, Yang, 2002. "Regional disparity and economic growth in China: The impact of labor market distortions," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 197-212.
    6. Zhang, Linxiu & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 2002. "Employment, emerging labor markets, and the role of education in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 313-328.
    7. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
    8. Masao Ogaki & Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "Saving Behavior in Low- and Middle-Income Developing Countries: A Comparison," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 38-71, March.
    9. Franco Modigliani & Shi Larry Cao, 2004. "The Chinese Saving Puzzle and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 145-170, March.
    10. Weiping Wu, 2004. "Sources of migrant housing disadvantage in urban China," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(7), pages 1285-1304, July.
    11. John Whalley & Shunming Zhang, 2011. "A Numerical Simulation Analysis Of (Hukou) Labour Mobility Restrictions In China," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: China's Integration Into The World Economy, chapter 11, pages 295-324 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    12. Byron, Rayond P & Manaloto, Evelyn Q, 1990. "Returns to Education in China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(4), pages 783-796, July.
    13. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2011. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 511-564.
    14. Démurger, Sylvie & Gurgand, Marc & Li, Shi & Yue, Ximing, 2009. "Migrants as second-class workers in urban China? A decomposition analysis," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 610-628, December.
    15. Marcos D. Chamon & Eswar S. Prasad, 2010. "Why Are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 93-130, January.
    16. Xie, Ping, 2003. "Reforms of China's rural credit cooperatives and policy options," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 434-442.
    17. Sarah Cook, 1998. "Who gets what jobs in China's countryside? A multinomial logit analysis," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2), pages 171-190.
    18. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    19. Dennis Tao Yang & Hao Zhou, 1999. "Rural-urban disparity and sectoral labour allocation in China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 105-133.
    20. Zhang, Xiaobo & Li, Guo, 2003. "Does guanxi matter to nonfarm employment?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 315-331, June.
    21. Chong-En Bai & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Yingyi Qian, 2006. "The Return to Capital in China," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(2), pages 61-102.
    22. Jess Benhabib & Boyan Jovanovic, 2012. "Optimal Migration: A World Perspective," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 321-348, May.
    23. Victor R. Fuchs & Alan B. Krueger & James M. Poterba, 1998. "Economists' Views about Parameters, Values, and Policies: Survey Results in Labor and Public Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1387-1425, September.
    24. Au, Chun-Chung & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2006. "How migration restrictions limit agglomeration and productivity in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 350-388, August.
    25. Todaro, Michael P, 1969. "A Model for Labor Migration and Urban Unemployment in Less Developed Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 138-148, March.
    26. John Knight & Lina Song, 2003. "Chinese Peasant Choices: Migration, Rural Industry or Farming," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(2), pages 123-148.
    27. Allen, Franklin & Qian, Jun & Qian, Meijun, 2005. "Law, finance, and economic growth in China," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 57-116, July.
    28. Giovannini, Alberto, 1985. "Saving and the real interest rate in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 197-217, August.
    29. Dong He & Wenlang Zhang & Jimmy Shek, 2007. "How Efficient Has Been China'S Investment? Empirical Evidence From National And Provincial Data," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 597-617, December.
    30. Sarah Cook, 1999. "Surplus labour and productivity in Chinese agriculture: Evidence from household survey data," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 16-44.
    31. Oriana Bandiera & Gerard Caprio & Patrick Honohan & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2000. "Does Financial Reform Raise or Reduce Saving?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 239-263, May.
    32. Wei Zou & Hao Zhou, 2007. "Classification of Growth Clubs and Convergence: Evidence from Panel Data in China, 1981-2004," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 15(5), pages 91-106.
    33. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Serven, Luis & Solimano, Andres, 1996. "Saving and Investment: Paradigms, Puzzles, Policies," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 87-117, February.
    34. Alan de Brauw & Scott Rozelle, 2008. "Reconciling the Returns to Education in Off-Farm Wage Employment in Rural China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 57-71, February.
    35. Fan, C. Simon & Stark, Oded, 2008. "Rural-to-urban migration, human capital, and agglomeration," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 234-247, October.
    36. Terry Sicular & Yue Ximing & Björn Gustafsson & Li Shi, 2007. "The Urban-Rural Income Gap And Inequality In China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(1), pages 93-126, March.
    37. Yao, Shujie & Zhang, Zongyi, 2001. "On Regional Inequality and Diverging Clubs: A Case Study of Contemporary China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 466-484, September.
    38. Alwyn Young, 2000. "The Razor's Edge: Distortions and Incremental Reform in the People's Republic of China," NBER Working Papers 7828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    39. Rachel Murphy, 1999. "Return migrant entrepreneurs and economic diversification in two counties in south Jiangxi, China," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 661-672.
    40. Chen, Aimin, 2002. "Urbanization and disparities in China: challenges of growth and development," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 407-411, December.
    41. Z Ma, 1999. "Temporary migration and regional development in China," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(5), pages 783-802, May.
    42. Lu, Zhigang & Song, Shunfeng, 2006. "Rural-urban migration and wage determination: The case of Tianjin, China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 337-345.
    43. Alwyn Young, 2000. "The Razor's Edge: Distortions and Incremental Reform in the People's Republic of China," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1091-1135.
    44. Richard Podpiera, 2006. "Progress in China’s Banking Sector Reform; Has Bank Behavior Changed?," IMF Working Papers 06/71, International Monetary Fund.
    45. Poncet, Sandra, 2003. "Measuring Chinese domestic and international integration," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-21.
    46. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Bowles, Paul, 2002. "Segmentation and discrimination in China's emerging industrial labor market," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 170-196.
    47. Aart Kraay, 2000. "Household Saving in China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(3), pages 545-570, September.
    48. Fleisher, Belton M. & Wang, Xiaojun, 2004. "Skill differentials, return to schooling, and market segmentation in a transition economy: the case of Mainland China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 315-328, February.
    49. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bonatti, Luigi & Fracasso, Andrea, 2013. "Regime switches in the Sino-American co-dependency: Growth and structural change in China," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-32.
    2. Huasheng Zhu & Junwei Feng & Maojun Wang & Fan Xu, 2017. "Sustaining Regional Advantages in Manufacturing: Skill Accumulation of Rural–Urban Migrant Workers in the Coastal Area of China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-23, January.
    3. Adolfo, Cristobal Campoamor, 2014. "The impact of China's hukou restrictions on the aggregate national saving," MPRA Paper 57983, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Rong Cui & Jeffrey H. Cohen, 2015. "Reform and the HuKou System in China," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 12(3), pages 327-335, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Migration policies; Dual economy; Chinese economy; Hukou;

    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
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:22:y:2011:i:4:p:669-692. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.