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Land Rights Insecurity and Temporary Migration in Rural China

  • de la Rupelle, Maëlys

    ()

    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Quheng, Deng

    ()

    (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

  • Li, Shi

    ()

    (Beijing Normal University)

  • Vendryes, Thomas

    ()

    (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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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4668.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4668
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  1. Knight, J & Song, L, 1997. "Chinese Peasant Choices : Farming, Rural Industry or Migration," Economics Series Working Papers 99188, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Hanan G. Jacoby & Guo Li & Scott Rozelle, 2002. "Hazards of Expropriation: Tenure Insecurity and Investment in Rural China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1420-1447, December.
  3. Galor, Oded & Stark, Oded, 1990. "Migrants' Savings, the Probability of Return Migration and Migrants' Performance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(2), pages 463-67, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Stark, Oded & Bloom, David E, 1985. "The New Economics of Labor Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 173-78, May.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. Rozelle, Scott & Li, Guo, 1998. "Village Leaders and Land-Rights Formation in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 433-38, May.
  9. Krusekopf, Charles C., 2002. "Diversity in land-tenure arrangements under the household responsibility system in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 297-312.
  10. Yaohui Zhao, 1999. "Leaving the Countryside: Rural-to-Urban Migration Decisions in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 281-286, May.
  11. Liu, Shouying & Carter, Michael R. & Yao, Yang, 1998. "Dimensions and diversity of property rights in rural China: Dilemmas on the road to further reform," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(10), pages 1789-1806, October.
  12. Erica Field, 2007. "Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1561-1602, November.
  13. Bhattacharya, Gautam, 1990. "Migration under uncertainty about quality of locations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 721-739, October.
  14. 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.
  15. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
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