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Land rights insecurity and temporary migration in rural China

  • Maëlys De La Rupelle

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)

  • Deng Quheng

    (CASS - Chinese Academy of Social Sciences - CASS)

  • Li Shi

    (Beijing Normal University - Beijing Normal University)

  • Thomas Vendryes

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)

Like most other developing countries, China experiences huge migration outflows from rural areas. Their most striking characteristic is a high geographical and temporal mobility. Rural migrants keep going back and forth between origin villages and destination areas. In this paper, we show that this temporary feature of migration can be linked to land rights insecurity. As village land ownership remains collective and as land use rights can be periodically reallocated, individual out-migration can result in deprivation of those rights. Moreover, the intensity of this insecurity varies according to the village-level management of land and the contractual status of land plots. We use these variations to identify the effect of land rights insecurity on migration behavior. Empirical results based on representative 2002 rural data demonstrate substantial impact.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00575041
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  1. Honore, Bo E, 1992. "Trimmed LAD and Least Squares Estimation of Truncated and Censored Regression Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 533-65, May.
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  8. Kung James, Kaising, 1995. "Equal Entitlement versus Tenure Security under a Regime of Collective Property Rights: Peasants' Preference for Institutions in Post-reform Chinese Agriculture," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 82-111, August.
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  12. Lohmar, Bryan, 1999. "Land Tenure Insecurity And Labor Allocation In Rural China," 1999 Annual meeting, August 8-11, Nashville, TN 21495, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  13. Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2008. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 981-1022, December.
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  15. Knight, J & Song, L, 1997. "Chinese Peasant Choices : Farming, Rural Industry or Migration," Economics Series Working Papers 99188, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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