Floating choices: a generational perspective on intentions of rural – urban migrants in China
Using data from a 2005 survey of rural – urban migrants in Shenzhen, we investigate the intentions of two groups of migrants. We use the birth years from 1970 to 1980 as a reasonable range of dividing lines to separate the two groups. For each year we divide the sample into those born before that year and those born in or after that year. These are referred to as the old generation and the new generation, respectively. Three possible development trajectories are considered: settling in cities, returning home to seek a nonagricultural job, and returning home to farm. We find that members of the new generation have stronger desires to do nonfarm work, and that returning to seek a nonagricultural job has become the most important planned trajectory for this generation. Sharp differences exist between the two generations in the reasons that underlie their intentions. For the old generation, conditions such as age, family responsibility, and type of job are important determinants of intentions, while other conditions such as initial migration motives, social capital, and socioeconomic conditions of origin areas are important for the intentions of the new generation. Thus the new generation is more likely to view migration as a form of investment with the accumulation of human capital and social capital. Those migrants from the old generation who have higher education levels also intend to seek a nonfarm job. However, because of the combined effects of life cycle and the market transition in China, these intentions are not as strong as those of the new generation. We discuss economic and policy implications of our findings.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:42:y:2010:i:3:p:545-562. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.