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Social Protection and Migration in China: What Can Protect Migrants from Economic Uncertainty?

Author

Listed:
  • Song, Lina

    () (University of Nottingham)

  • Appleton, Simon

    () (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

Job-related welfare entitlements are common in China. Migrants who do not hold urban registration are, in principle, not entitled to job-related welfare even if they are employees in the State sector. The official explanation is that rural-urban migrants are allocated access to farm land in their rural origins, and hence their welfare rights and security are covered by this entitlement to the use of land. In this paper, we look at whether migrants still benefited from these opportunities. Second, we investigate whether it is the poor, the unentitled and the vulnerable that are excluded from public protection programs. Chinese official social protection programs are, like in most western countries, officially designated as being for poverty alleviation. However would such programs still be targeted in ways that limit their coverage, curtail the range of basic needs provided for and allocate benefits very unequally? Thirdly, we explore whether households with favourable productive characteristics are more likely to get into social protection programs. Here, the ongoing debate concerning equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes has some relevance. Finally, we examine the roles social networks or Guanxi (the Chinese term for social connections) may play in dealing with economic shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Song, Lina & Appleton, Simon, 2008. "Social Protection and Migration in China: What Can Protect Migrants from Economic Uncertainty?," IZA Discussion Papers 3594, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3594
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:62:y:2017:i:02:n:s0217590815500885 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cui, Yuling & Nahm, Daehoon & Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "The Determinants of Rural Migrants' Employment Choice in China: Results from a Joint Estimation," IZA Discussion Papers 6968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Corrado Giulietti & Guangjie Ning & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2012. "Self-employment of rural-to-urban migrants in China," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(1), pages 96-117, March.
    4. Ingrid Nielsen & Russell Smyth & Qingguo Zhai, 2010. "Subjective Well-Being of China’s Off-Farm Migrants," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 315-333, June.
    5. Siegel, Melissa & Neubourg, Chris de, 2011. "A historical perspective on immigration and social protection in the Netherlands," MERIT Working Papers 014, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Ming-Zhu Wang & Marco Amati & Frank Thomalla, 2012. "Understanding the vulnerability of migrants in Shanghai to typhoons," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 60(3), pages 1189-1210, February.
    7. Gao, Qin & Yang, Sui & Li, Shi, 2012. "Labor contracts and social insurance participation among migrant workers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1195-1205.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social protection; migration; entitlement; China;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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