Urban labour-force experience as a determinant of rural occupation change: evidence from recent urban - rural return migration in China
An integrated approach to temporary migration in develoing countries is proposed by linking past urban labour-force experience to postreturn entrepreneurial activities. The central argument is that labour migration is a family strategy to acquire both physical and human capital for a future technological transformation. On the basis of an in-depth survey of returned migrants that was conducted in rural China, I focus on the explanation of return rural occupation change in a multivariate framework. I find that it is the improvement of the migrant's skills and entrepreneurial ability rather than their savings and remittances that strongly facilitates a return rural occupational change. The policy implication of the finding is to shift efforts from narrowing intersectoral wage differentials to improving rural learning and training opportunities.