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Segmentation or competition in China's urban labour market?

  • John Knight
  • Linda Yueh

In China, urban residents have traditionally been protected against labour market competition from rural--urban migrants. Over the period of urban economic reform, rural--urban migration was allowed to increase in order to fill the employment gap as growth of labour demand outstripped that of the resident labour force in urban areas. However, as reforms gained pace and controls were lifted, it is plausible that competition for work between migrants and urban residents would have increased. The paper examines whether the relationship is one of segmentation or competition in the labour market. It uses attitudinal responses from two urban surveys. The urban workers who perceive competition from migrants are those who are most vulnerable. The findings are consistent with the presence of continued labour market segmentation, but suggest also that competition between the two groups is increasing. Copyright The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 79-94

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:33:y:2009:i:1:p:79-94
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