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Where are the migrants from? Inter- vs. intra-provincial rural-urban migration in China

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  • Su, Yaqin
  • Tesfazion, Petros
  • Zhao, Zhong

Abstract

Using a representative sample of rural migrants in cities, this paper investigates where the migrants in urban China come from, paying close attention to intra-provincial vs. inter-provincial migrants, and examining the differences in their personal attributes. We find that migrants who have come from within the province differ significantly from those who have come from outside of the province. Using a nested logit model, we find that overall, higher wage differentials, larger population size, higher GDP per capita, and faster employment growth rate are the attributes of a city that attract rural-to-urban migrants. In addition, moving beyond one's home province has a strong deterrent effect on migration, analogous to the “border effect” identified in international migration studies. We also explore the role of culture, institutional barriers, and dialect in explaining such a pronounced “border effect”.

Suggested Citation

  • Su, Yaqin & Tesfazion, Petros & Zhao, Zhong, 2018. "Where are the migrants from? Inter- vs. intra-provincial rural-urban migration in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 142-155.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:47:y:2018:i:c:p:142-155
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2017.09.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Christine Wen & Jeremy L. Wallace, 2019. "Toward Human-Centered Urbanization? Housing Ownership and Access to Social Insurance Among Migrant Households in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(13), pages 1-14, June.
    2. Li, Xun & Hui, Eddie Chi-man & Lang, Wei & Zheng, Shali & Qin, Xiaozhen, 2020. "Transition from factor-driven to innovation-driven urbanization in China: A study of manufacturing industry automation in Dongguan City," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    3. Shaoyao Zhang & Xueqian Song & Jiangjun Wan & Ying Liu & Wei Deng, 2019. "The Features of Rural Labor Transfer and Cultural Differences: Evidence from China’s Southwest Mountainous Areas," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(6), pages 1-15, March.
    4. de Bruin, Anne & Liu, Na, 2020. "The urbanization-household gender inequality nexus: Evidence from time allocation in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    5. Feng Wang & Wenna Fan & Xiangyan Lin & Juan Liu & Xin Ye, 2020. "Does Population Mobility Contribute to Urbanization Convergence? Empirical Evidence from Three Major Urban Agglomerations in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(2), pages 1-20, January.
    6. Fan Wu & Ling-Hin Li & Sue Yurim Han, 2018. "Social Sustainability and Redevelopment of Urban Villages in China: A Case Study of Guangzhou," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(7), pages 1-18, June.
    7. Meng, Lei, 2020. "Permanent migration desire of Chinese rural residents: Evidence from field surveys, 2006–2015," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rural-urban migration; Inter- vs. intra-provincial migration; Border effect; China;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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