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Migration, remittances, and agricultural productivity in small farming systems in Northwest China


  • Lihua Li
  • Chenggang Wang
  • Eduardo Segarra
  • Zhibiao Nan


Purpose - The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between migration, remittances and agricultural productivity by applying the new economics of labor migration model in the context of north-west China. The specific objectives are to examine the impacts of rural out-migration on agricultural productivity in various farming systems, and whether remittances have been reinvested in agriculture. Design/methodology/approach - Cross-sectional household survey data from three townships were analyzed with the three-stage least squares (3SLS) regression model. Findings - In multi-cropping small farming systems, at least in the short run, the loss resulting from losing family labour on lower-return grain crop production is likely to be offset by the gain from investing in capital-intensive and profitable cash crop production. Originality/value - This study provides empirical evidence for the MELM theory. It expands Taylor

Suggested Citation

  • Lihua Li & Chenggang Wang & Eduardo Segarra & Zhibiao Nan, 2013. "Migration, remittances, and agricultural productivity in small farming systems in Northwest China," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 5-23, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:caerpp:v:5:y:2013:i:1:p:5-23

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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, H. & Deng, H. & Xu, Z. & Lu, W., 2018. "Emerging Agricultural Cooperatives and The Structural Change of Crop Production in China," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277324, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Diarra, Lacina, 2020. "Rural off-farm employment and agricultural production efficiency: evidence from Tazania," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304600, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Dazhuan Ge & Hualou Long & Li Ma & Yingnan Zhang & Shuangshuang Tu, 2017. "Analysis Framework of China’s Grain Production System: A Spatial Resilience Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(12), pages 1-1, December.
    4. Jian Liu & Chao Zhang & Ruifa Hu & Xiaoke Zhu & Jinyang Cai, 2019. "Aging of Agricultural Labor Force and Technical Efficiency in Tea Production: Evidence from Meitan County, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(22), pages 1-1, November.
    5. Md.Salamun Rashidin & Sara Javed & Bin Liu & Wang Jian, 2020. "Ramifications of Households’ Nonfarm Income on Agricultural Productivity: Evidence From a Rural Area of Pakistan," SAGE Open, , vol. 10(1), pages 21582440209, January.
    6. Nguyen, Duc Loc & Grote, Ulrike & Nguyen, Trung Thanh, 2019. "Migration, crop production and non-farm labor diversification in rural Vietnam," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 175-187.
    7. Xie, Fangting & Zhu, Shubin & Cao, Mengtian & Kang, Xiaolan & Du, Juan, 2019. "Does rural labor outward migration reduce household forest investment? The experience of Jiangxi, China," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 62-69.
    8. Jin Yang & Hui Wang & Songqing Jin & Kevin Chen & Jeffrey Riedinger & Chao Peng, 2016. "Migration, local off-farm employment, and agricultural production efficiency: evidence from China," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 247-259, June.
    9. Misgina Asmelash Redehegn & Dingqiang Sun & Aseres Mamo Eshete & Castro N Gichuki, 2019. "Development impacts of migration and remittances on migrant-sending communities: Evidence from Ethiopia," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(2), pages 1-20, February.
    10. Yangmeina Yang & Yu Zhang & Qingshan Yang & Jian Liu & Fang Huang, 2019. "Coupling Relationship between Agricultural Labor and Agricultural Production Against the Background of Rural Shrinkage: A Case Study of Songnen Plain, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(20), pages 1-1, October.
    11. Pan, Zehan & Xu, Wei & Wang, Guixin & Li, Sen & Yang, Chuankai, 2020. "Will remittances suppress or increase household income in the migrant-sending areas? Modeling the effects of remittances in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    12. Hua Lu & Hualin Xie & Qianru Chen & Jinfa Jiang, 2018. "Impact of Agricultural Labor Transfer and Structural Adjustment on Chemical Application: Comparison of Past Developments in the Ecological Civilization Pilot Zones of China and Their Future Implicatio," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(6), pages 1-1, June.
    13. Chao Zhang & Ruifa Hu, 2020. "Does Fertilizer Use Intensity Respond to the Urban-Rural Income Gap? Evidence from a Dynamic Panel-Data Analysis in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(1), pages 1-1, January.


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