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Return migrants: The rise of new entrepreneurs in rural China

  • Sylvie Démurger


    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69003, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, UMR 5824, 93, chemin des Mouilles, Ecully, F-69130, France; ENS-LSH, Lyon, France ; CNRS, CEFC, USR 3331 Asie Orientale, Hong Kong)

  • Hui Xu


    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69003, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, UMR 5824, 93, chemin des Mouilles, Ecully, F-69130, France; ENS-LSH, Lyon, France ; Center for Modern Chinese City Studies (CCMC), East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)

This paper analyzes return migrants' occupational choice upon their return to their home village, by using an original rural household survey conducted in Wuwei county (Anhui province, China) in 2008. We apply two complementary approaches : a horizontal comparative analysis of occupational choice between non-migrants and return migrants, and a vertical investigation of the impact of migration experience on returnees only. Two main findings are drawn up from the estimation of probit models which account for potential selection bias and endogeneity. First, return migrants are more likely to be self-employed and to opt for higher ability jobs than non-migrants. Second, both return savings and the frequency of job changes during migration increase the likelihood for return migrants to become self-employed. These findings suggest that (a) working experience during migration enhances individual's human capital and entrepreneurial ability, and (b) repatriated migration experience is a key stimulating factor in promoting rural entrepreneur 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 1008.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1008
Contact details of provider: Postal: 93, chemin des Mouilles - B.P.167 69131 - Ecully cedex
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