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Migrants and Firms: Evidence from China

Author

Listed:
  • Clement Imbert
  • Marlon Seror
  • Yifan Zhang
  • Stephan Yanos Zylberberg

Abstract

This paper estimates the causal effect of rural-urban migration on urban production in China. We use longitudinal data on manufacturing firms between 2001 and 2006 and exploit exogenous variation in rural-urban migration due to agricultural price shocks. Following a migrant inflow, labor costs decline and employment expands. Labor productivity decreases sharply and remains low in the medium run. A quantitative framework suggests that destinations become too labor-abundant and migration mostly benefits low-productivity firms within locations. As migrants select into high-productivity destinations, migration however strongly contributes to the equalization of factor productivity across locations.

Suggested Citation

  • Clement Imbert & Marlon Seror & Yifan Zhang & Stephan Yanos Zylberberg, 2018. "Migrants and Firms: Evidence from China," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 19/713, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:19/713
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephan Heblich & Marlon Seror & Hao Xu & Yanos Zylberberg, 2019. "Industrial clusters in the long run: evidence from Million-Rouble plants in China," CESifo Working Paper Series 7682, CESifo.
    2. Danzer, Alexander M. & Feuerbaum, Carsten & Gaessler, Fabian, 2020. "Labor Supply and Automation Innovation," IZA Discussion Papers 13429, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Wang, Feicheng & Milner, Chris & Scheffel, Juliane, 2021. "Labour market reform and firm-level employment adjustment: Evidence from the hukou reform in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C).
    4. Raphael Corbi & Tiago Ferraz, 2018. "Rainfall, Internal Migration and Local labor Markets in Brazil," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2018_24, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    5. Selod, Harris & Shilpi, Forhad, 2021. "Rural-urban migration in developing countries: Lessons from the literature," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).

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    Keywords

    China; productivity.;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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