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Accounting for China's urbanization

Listed author(s):
  • Chen, Qin
  • Song, Zheng
Registered author(s):

    It is widely acknowledged that large-scale urbanization plays a pivotal role in China's miraculous economic growth over the past two decades. Yet many of the basic statistics and facts remain disputable. The contribution of this paper is two-fold. First, based on the publicly available 2000 and 2010 census data, plus some auxiliary information from other sources, we develop an accounting method to back out the scale and composition of China's urbanization. We find that urbanization accounts for 80.4% of the total urban population growth of 211 million in the 2000s. Moreover, more than half of the urbanized population, about 85.6 million, is due to rural–urban migration. Our findings suggest that rural–urban migration increased by two thirds from the 1990s to 2000s, while the population urbanized by land reclassification is roughly the same across the two periods.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043951X14000844
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 485-494

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:30:y:2014:i:c:p:485-494
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2014.07.005
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

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    1. Zheng Song & Kjetil Storesletten & Yikai Wang & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2015. "Sharing High Growth across Generations: Pensions and Demographic Transition in China," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 1-39, April.
    2. Knight, John & Deng, Quheng & Li, Shi, 2011. "The puzzle of migrant labour shortage and rural labour surplus in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 585-600.
    3. Xin Meng, 2012. "Labor Market Outcomes and Reforms in China," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 75-102, Fall.
    4. Fang Cai & Meiyan Wang, 2008. "A Counterfactual Analysis on Unlimited Surplus Labor in Rural China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 16(1), pages 51-65.
    5. Hongbin Li & Lei Li & Binzhen Wu & Yanyan Xiong, 2012. "The End of Cheap Chinese Labor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 57-74, Fall.
    6. 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.
    7. CAI, Fang & DU, Yang, 2011. "Wage increases, wage convergence, and the Lewis turning point in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 601-610.
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