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Reform and the HuKou System in China


  • Rong Cui

    () (the South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan Hubei, People's Republic of China.)

  • Jeffrey H. Cohen


China created the dual hukou system in an effort to modernize and manage rural to urban migration. The system restricted the mobility of most Chinese and limited rural peasant migration. In 1978 the demand for labour increased rapidly and rules controlling migration, including the hukou system were loosen to encourage relocation. The establishment of a semi-capitalist market system in 1991 further encouraged the flow of labour and forced the liberalization of some aspect of the registration policy and by 2014 and in response to continued growth the Chinese government implemented a unified hukou system to build equality among rural and urban citizens. In this brief, we review the reforms and argue that the hukou system can play an important role in Chinese development

Suggested Citation

  • Rong Cui & Jeffrey H. Cohen, 2015. "Reform and the HuKou System in China," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 12(3), pages 327-335, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:12:y:2015:i:3:p:327-335

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. C. Cindy Fan, 2003. "Rural-urban migration and gender division of labor in transitional China," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 24-47, March.
    2. Vendryes, Thomas, 2011. "Migration constraints and development: Hukou and capital accumulation in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 669-692.
    3. Shahid Yusuf & Tony Saich, 2008. "China Urbanizes : Consequences, Strategies, and Policies," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6337.
    4. Thomas Vendryes, 2011. "Migration constraints and development: Hukou and capital accumulation in China," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00783794, HAL.
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