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Migration in China: To work or to wed?

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  • Arnaud Dupuy

Abstract

This paper develops a model encompassing both matching and hedonic models, studies its properties, and provides identification and estimation strategies. We bring the model to data on internal migration in China to answer the question raised in the title. We estimate the migration surplus of singles and couples and the marital surplus of natives and, using counterfactuals together with our identification strategy, quantify the “marrying‐up” and the “work” effects of migration. Results show that, for floating (resp. permanent) migrant women married with urban men, the “marrying‐up” effect is positive but 3.5 (resp. 5) times smaller than the “work” effect. However, as these migrant women enter the urban marriage market, they generate equilibrium “marrying‐up” effects for all men and women by changing the relative supply of women on both the rural and urban marriage markets. These effects can be large relative to the “work” effect of migration for some types of migrants (floating migrant women married with a permanent migrant man and floating migrant women married with a floating migrant man) and represent about 13% of the equilibrium utility of urban native men.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Dupuy, 2021. "Migration in China: To work or to wed?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(4), pages 393-415, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:japmet:v:36:y:2021:i:4:p:393-415
    DOI: 10.1002/jae.2816
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    2. Michel Beine & Arnaud Dupuy & Majlinda Joxhe, 2020. "Migration intentions: Data from a Field Study in Albania," DEM Discussion Paper Series 20-14, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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