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Wage differentials between urban and rural-urban migrant workers in China

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  • Zhang, Li
  • Sharpe, Rhonda Vonshay
  • Li, Shi
  • Darity, William A.

Abstract

Since the end of the 1980s, the number of migrants working in the urban labor market has increased dramatically. However, migrant workers are treated differently from urban workers. In this paper we examine the labor market discrimination against rural migrants from the point of view of wage differentials using CHIP-2007 data. We apply Jann pooled method to deal with index number problem and use Heckman two step model to correct selection problem when decomposing the wage gap. The decomposition results show that a significant difference in wage gains persists between the two groups as late as 2007. In 2007 migrants only earned 49% of urban workers' income and 17% of the wage gap cannot be explained by observed factors. In detail, differences in educational attainment, work experience and distribution across industry, occupation, and ownership of enterprises account for most of the explained wage gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Li & Sharpe, Rhonda Vonshay & Li, Shi & Darity, William A., 2016. "Wage differentials between urban and rural-urban migrant workers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 222-233.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:41:y:2016:i:c:p:222-233
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2016.10.004
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    2. GAO Tianming & Anna Ivolga & Vasilii Erokhin, 2018. "Sustainable Rural Development in Northern China: Caught in a Vice between Poverty, Urban Attractions, and Migration," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(5), pages 1-20, May.
    3. MA, Xinxin & LI, Yalan & IWASAKI, Ichiro, 2023. "The Hukou System and Wage Gap between Urban and Rural Migrant Workers in China : A Meta-Analysis," Discussion Paper Series 751, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Dreger, Christian & Zhang, Yanqun, 2017. "The Hukou Impact on the Chinese Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 10720, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Yuanyuan Chen & Zichen Deng, 2019. "Liquidity Constraint Shock, Job Search and Post Match Quality—Evidence from Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 332-355, September.
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    7. Jonathan Haughton & Wendi Sun & Le Thi Thanh Loan, 2018. "Discrimination against Migrants in Urban Vietnam," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 24(3), pages 211-232, August.
    8. Liao, Yu & Zhang, Junfu, 2021. "Hukou status, housing tenure choice and wealth accumulation in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    9. Alex Jingwei He & Chunni Zhang & Jiwei Qian, 2022. "COVID-19 and social inequality in China: the local–migrant divide and the limits of social protections in a pandemic [Impact of risk perception on migrant workers’ employment choice during the COVI," Policy and Society, Darryl S. Jarvis and M. Ramesh, vol. 41(2), pages 275-290.
    10. Yumei Zhang & Yue Zhan & Xinshen Diao & Kevin Z. Chen & Sherman Robinson, 2021. "The Impacts of COVID‐19 on Migrants, Remittances, and Poverty in China: A Microsimulation Analysis," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 29(6), pages 4-33, November.
    11. Thomas Vendryes & Jiaqi Zhan, 2023. "Hukou-Based Discrimination, Dialects and City Characteristics," Documents de recherche 23-04, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
    12. Xiaodong Zheng & Yue Zhang & Yu Chen & Xiangming Fang, 2021. "Internal Migration Experience and Depressive Symptoms among Middle-Aged and Older Adults: Evidence from China," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(1), pages 1-15, December.
    13. Haijun Bao & Yan Fang & Qunying Ye & Yi Peng, 2018. "Investigating Social Welfare Change in Urban Village Transformation: A Rural Migrant Perspective," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 139(2), pages 723-743, September.
    14. Pan, Liqun & Mukhopadhaya, Pundarik & Li, Jing, 2019. "The changing texture of the city-size wage differential in Chinese cities – Effects of skill and identity," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 191-210.
    15. Gui Ye & Yuhe Wang & Yuxin Zhang & Liming Wang & Houli Xie & Yuan Fu & Jian Zuo, 2019. "Impact of Migrant Workers on Total Factor Productivity in Chinese Construction Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(3), pages 1-18, February.
    16. Li Huang & Xue Zhang & Mi Zhou & Brendan Nuse & Liuyin Tong, 2019. "Depressive Symptoms and Migrant Worker Wages: Estimation Based on a Nationally-Representative Panel Dataset," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 16(6), pages 1-13, March.
    17. Peng, Jiaqi & Li, Jun & Ma, Ling & Lv, Zhiwang, 2023. "The Contribution of Work Experience on Earnings Inequality of Migrant Workers: Decompositions Based on the Quantile Regression Equation," Research on World Agricultural Economy, Nan Yang Academy of Sciences Pte Ltd (NASS), vol. 4(1), April.
    18. Ming Guan & Hongyi Guan, 2024. "Sense of community and residential well-being among rural-urban migrants in China," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 11(1), pages 1-15, December.
    19. Guangliang Yang & Lixing Li & Shihe Fu, 2020. "Do rural migrants benefit from labor market agglomeration economies? Evidence from Chinese cities," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 910-931, September.
    20. Huang, Lulu & Zhang, Yuan & Zuo, Congmin, 2023. "City size and the employment of female migrant workers in the service sector: Evidence from urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    21. Liuchang Xu & Jie Wang & Dayu Xu & Liang Xu, 2022. "Integrating Individual Factors to Construct Recognition Models of Consumer Fraud Victimization," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(1), pages 1-12, January.
    22. Yue Yu & Chengkui Liu, 2023. "Pre-market discrimination or post-market discrimination: research on inequality of opportunity for labor income in China," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 64(5), pages 2291-2313, May.
    23. Jie Chen & Wei Wang & Yan Song, 2023. "Economic Potential Gain, Income Uncertainty, and Rural Migrants’ Urban Homeownership: Evidence from China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(9), pages 1-22, April.
    24. Ahmed Nawaz Hakro & Yaseen Ghulam & Shabbar Jaffry & Vyoma Shah, 2021. "Employment Choices and Wage Differentials: Evidence on Labor Force Data Sets from Pakistan," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 64(1), pages 199-216, March.
    25. Ding, Xiaozhou, 2021. "College education and internal migration in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).

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