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Rural households decisions towards income diversification: Evidence from a township in northern China

  • Sylvie Démurger

    ()

    (University of Lyon; CNRS, UMR 5824, GATE, France)

  • Martin Fournier

    ()

    (University of Lyon; CNRS, UMR 5824, GATE, France)

  • Weiyong Yang

    ()

    (University of International Business & Economics, Beijing, China)

Economic reforms in rural China have brought opportunities to diversify both within-farm activities and off-farm activities. Participation in these activities plays an important role in increasing rural households' income. This paper analyzes the factors that drive rural households and individuals in their income-source diversification choices for ten villages in Northern China. At the household level, we distinguish three types of diversification as opposed to grain production only : within farm (non- grain production) activities, local off-farm activities, and migration. At the individual level, we analyze the determinants of participation in three different types of jobs as compared to agricultural work : local off-farm employment, local self-employment and migration. At the household level, we find that land and labor availability stimulates on-farm diversification. Local off-farm activities are mostly driven by household wealth and credit constraints, while migration decisions strongly depend on the household age and composition. At the individual level, we find a clear gender and age bias in access to off-farm activities that are mostly undertaken by male and by young people. More surprisingly, education is found to play a role for accessing local wage employment but not in migration decision. As at the household level, the household assets position is found to strongly affect participation in any off-farm activity.

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Paper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 0923.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:0923
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  1. de Brauw, Alan & Giles, John, 2008. "Migrant opportunity and the educational attainment of youth in rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4526, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. Alan de Brauw & Scott Rozelle, 2008. "Reconciling the Returns to Education in Off-Farm Wage Employment in Rural China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 57-71, 02.
  4. 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.
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