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Migration, Education and Rural Development: Evidence from China 2000 Population Census Data


  • Anqing Shi
  • Shuming Bao


There has been a concern that the growth of towns has been stalled recently and with it, the creation of non-farm jobs in rural industries. This study uses 2000 census tabulations to look at this issue by examining in-migration in towns in three provinces in China, Zhejiang, Henan, and Sichuan. In addition to the diversified patterns of town in-migrants revealed in these provinces, this paper finds that town in-migrants generally possess higher levels of educational attainment than those of the local population in towns, especially in the less-developed western and central provinces of Sichuan and Henan. There is also evidence that as towns themselves grow wealthier, such as in Zhejiang, better educated people in rural areas were likely to shift their jobs from the farm to non-farm sector in towns nearby, instead of leaving the countryside to migrate to other provinces. Labor markets in towns in less-developed western and central provinces were more flexible in accommodating in-migrants, whereas in the coastal province of Zhejiang, labor markets tend to become segregated between migrants and the local population.

Suggested Citation

  • Anqing Shi & Shuming Bao, 2007. "Migration, Education and Rural Development: Evidence from China 2000 Population Census Data," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 163-177.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:5:y:2007:i:2:p:163-177
    DOI: 10.1080/14765280701362471

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    Cited by:

    1. Démurger, Sylvie & Gurgand, Marc & Li, Shi & Yue, Ximing, 2009. "Migrants as second-class workers in urban China? A decomposition analysis," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 610-628, December.
    2. Bodvarsson, Örn B. & Hou, Jack W. & Shen, Kailing, 2014. "Aging and Migration in a Transition Economy: The Case of China," IZA Discussion Papers 8351, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Bellandi, Marco & Lombardi, Silvia, 2012. "Specialized markets and Chinese industrial clusters: The experience of Zhejiang Province," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 626-638.

    More about this item



    JEL classification:

    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics
    • C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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