Barriers to the acquisition of urban hukou in Chinese cities
The hukou system is one of the most enduring legacies of the 20th-century Chinese socialist control instruments. The hukou in the Chinese context is an official identity of residency rights in a given geographic unit. Cities use the hukou policy to impede the urban hukou of migrants who are deemed unworthy in terms of socioeconomic attributes. Based on policy documents and data collected from forty-five sample cities, this paper offers statistical measures and explanations for barriers to urban hukou nationwide. The paper introduces the city’s entry barrier (CEB) index to rank the degree of difficulty of acquiring urban hukou and performs factor analysis to identify the key determinants that significantly explain the various levels of the CEB index across cities. Our empirical findings suggest that a more developed city tends to develop a higher entry barrier to its hukou. The intention of city governments to impose barriers to urban hukou is enshrined largely in their progrowth mentality and their metaphors on the political economy of urbanization. Keywords: urban hukou, urban citizenship, the city’s entry barrier, urbanization, rural-to-urban migration
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