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The Determinants of Labour-time Allocation between Farm and Off-farm Work in Rural China: the Case of Liaoning Province

  • Qingjie Xia
  • Colin Simmons

This article examines the determinants of the allocation process of labour time between farm and off-farm activities (OFAs) in north-east rural China during the late 1990s. The question is addressed by means of a dedicated fieldwork survey of 450 rural households in a clustering of nine villages in Xinmin County located in Liaoning Province. The econometric methodology consists of deploying a multinomial logit model to track the distribution of OFA employment opportunities. Our results reveal that market forces, rather than overt political connections, are assuming increasing significance, especially for those operating own-account enterprises (OAEs); that birthplace and location remain potent determinants of work destination and earnings capacity; and that being male and single motivates rural inhabitants to seek OFAs to a much greater extent than other household members. These findings have implications for those responsible for framing policy. In particular, a further round of liberalization to favour OFAs is suggested.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies.

Volume (Year): 2 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 169-184

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:2:y:2004:i:2:p:169-184
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  1. Rawski, Thomas G. & Mead, Robert W., 1998. "On the trail of China's phantom farmers," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 767-781, May.
  2. Zhang, Linxiu & Rozelle, Scott & Huang, Jikun, 2001. "Off-Farm Jobs and On-Farm Work in Periods of Boom and Bust in Rural China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 505-526, September.
  3. de Brauw, Alan & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Zhang, Linxiu & Zhang, Yigang, 2002. "The Evolution Of China'S Rural Labor Markets During The Reforms," Working Papers 11984, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  4. Appleton, Simon & Knight, John & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2002. "Labor retrenchment in China: Determinants and consequences," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 252-275.
  5. Knight, J. & Shi, L., 1996. "Cumulative Causation and Inequality Among Villages in China," Economics Series Working Papers 99186, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Rozelle, Scott & Huang, Jikun & Zhang, Linxiu, 2002. "Emerging markets, evolving institutions, and the new opportunities for growth in China's rural economy," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 345-353, December.
  7. Knight, J & Song, L, 1997. "Chinese Peasant Choices : Farming, Rural Industry or Migration," Economics Series Working Papers 99188, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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