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Regional Heterogeneity of Migrant Rent Affordability Stress in Urban China: A Comparison between Skilled and Unskilled Migrants at Prefecture Level and Above

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  • Tingzhu Li

    () (College of Resource Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, No.105 West 3rd Ring Road North, Beijing 100048, China)

  • Ran Liu

    () (College of Resource Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, No.105 West 3rd Ring Road North, Beijing 100048, China)

  • Wei Qi

    () (Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China)

Abstract

Rental housing unaffordability has been widely used to assess the housing poverty problem among immigrants in the developed and developing countries. China is experiencing an unprecedented urbanization process, with two-thirds of its 250 million migrants now being sheltered in private rental housing in the host cities. In this paper, we aimed to examine the rental housing unaffordability problems faced by migrant workers in urban China and provide policy recommendations for a more accessible and affordable migrant housing provision system. We used the household data on China’s Migrant Dynamics Monitoring Survey (MDMS), released in 2016, across China’s 329 prefecture-level cities and above to look into the sociality and spatiality of migrant rent expenses and rent-income ratio at the prefecture-level cities and above. The statistical tests were conducted to examine the socio- and spatial-variance of these rent stress indexes, and it was found that educational level is a significant and quite powerful indicator in predicting who will or will not assume the heavier rental housing pressure. We then continued to reveal the different spatiality of high-rent-stress migrants across the high- and low-skilled categories. An agglomeration of the high-skilled high-rent-stress migrants was witnessed in the coastal growth engines of urban clusters, while a more spillover-like pattern among the low-skilled high-rent-stress migrants was reported in our study. An ordinary least square and spatial regression analysis was conducted to explain their respective mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Tingzhu Li & Ran Liu & Wei Qi, 2019. "Regional Heterogeneity of Migrant Rent Affordability Stress in Urban China: A Comparison between Skilled and Unskilled Migrants at Prefecture Level and Above," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(21), pages 1-26, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:21:p:5920-:d:280014
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    Keywords

    internal migration; mainland China; regional heterogeneity; rent affordable stress; skilled migrants; unskilled migrants; prefectural cities;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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