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Migrants and Firms: Evidence from China

Author

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  • Clement Imbert
  • Marlon Seror
  • Yifan Zhang
  • 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 & Yanos Zylberberg, 2018. "Migrants and Firms: Evidence from China," CESifo Working Paper Series 7440, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7440
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    rural-urban migration; structural transformation; urban production;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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