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Migrant Labor Markets and the Welfare of Rural Households in the Developing World: Evidence from China

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  • de Brauw, Alan

    () (International Food Policy Research Institute)

  • Giles, John T.

    () (World Bank)

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the impact of reductions in barriers to migration on the consumption of households in rural China. We find that increased migration from rural villages leads to significant increases in consumption per capita, and that this effect is stronger for poorer households within villages. Household income per capita and non-durable consumption per capita both increase with out-migration, and this increase is greater for poorer households. We also establish a causal relationship between increased out-migration and investment in housing and durable goods assets, and these effects are also stronger for poorer households. We do not find robust evidence, however, to support a connection between increased migration and investment in productive activity. Instead, increased migration is associated with two significant changes for poorer households: increases both in the total labor supplied to productive activities and in the land per capita managed by the household. In examining the effect of migration, we pay considerable attention to motivating, developing and evaluating our identification strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • de Brauw, Alan & Giles, John T., 2012. "Migrant Labor Markets and the Welfare of Rural Households in the Developing World: Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 6765, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6765
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    Cited by:

    1. Ariga, Kenn & Ohtake, Fumio & Sasaki, Masaru & Wu, Zheren, 2012. "Wage Growth through Job Hopping in China," IZA Discussion Papers 7104, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Chang, Hongqin & Dong, Xiao-yuan & MacPhail, Fiona, 2011. "Labor Migration and Time Use Patterns of the Left-behind Children and Elderly in Rural China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 2199-2210.
    3. Zhang, Jian & Giles, John & Rozelle, Scott, 2012. "Does it pay to be a cadre? Estimating the returns to being a local official in rural China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 337-356.
    4. Qu, Zhaopeng & Zhao, Zhong, 2017. "Glass ceiling effect in urban China: Wage inequality of rural-urban migrants during 2002–2007," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 118-144.
    5. Qu, Zhaopeng & Zhao, Zhong, 2016. "The Glass ceiling effect in urban China: Wage inequality of rural-urban migrants," MERIT Working Papers 069, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Huang, Jikun & Zhi, Huayong & Huang, Zhurong & Rozelle, Scott & Giles, John, 2011. "The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Off-farm Employment and Earnings in Rural China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 797-807, May.
    7. Gharad Bryan & Shyamal Chowdhury & A. Mushfiq Mobarak, 2011. "Seasonal Migration and Risk Aversion," Working Papers id:4650, eSocialSciences.
    8. Jikun Huang & Yu Liu & Will Martin & Scott Rozelle, 2010. "Agricultural Trade Reform and Rural Prosperity: Lessons from China," NBER Chapters,in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 397-423 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Du, Julan & He, Qing & Rui, Oliver M., 2011. "Channels of Interprovincial Consumption Risk Sharing in the People’s Republic of China," ADBI Working Papers 334, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    10. Wang, Ye & Wang, Chenggang & Pan, Suwen, 2011. "The Impact of Nonfarm Activities on Agricultural Productivity in Rural China," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103605, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Chen, Xi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2009. "The Distribution of Income and Well-Being in Rural China: A Survey of Panel Data Sets, Studies and New Directions," MPRA Paper 20587, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Akresh, Richard & Edmonds, Eric V., 2010. "The Analytical Returns to Measuring a Detailed Household Roster," IZA Discussion Papers 4759, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Giles, John & Murtazashvili, Irina, 2010. "A control function approach to estimating dynamic probit models with endogenous regressors, with an application to the study of poverty persistence in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5400, The World Bank.
    14. Mu, Ren & van de Walle, Dominique, 2011. "Left behind to farm? Women's labor re-allocation in rural China," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 83-97.
    15. Valerie Mueller & Abusaleh Shariff, 2011. "Preliminary Evidence On Internal Migration, Remittances, And Teen Schooling In India," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 207-217, April.
    16. Hiroshi Sato & Terry Sicular & Ximing Yue, 2011. "Housing Ownership, Incomes, and Inequality in China, 2002-2007," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 201112, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    17. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9765-z is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Du, Julan & He, Qing & Rui, Oliver M., 2011. "Channels of interprovincial risk sharing in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 383-405, September.
    19. Zhu, Nong & Luo, Xubei, 2008. "The impact of remittances on rural poverty and inequality in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4637, The World Bank.
    20. Yu Zhu & Zhongmin Wu & Meiyan Wang & Yang Du & Fang Cai, 2011. "Do Migrants Really Save More? Understanding the Impact of Remittances on Savings in Rural China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(5), pages 654-672, June.
    21. Wei Ha & Junjian Yi & Junsen Zhang, 2009. "Inequality and Internal Migration in China: Evidence from Village Panel Data," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-27, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Jul 2009.
    22. Jing You & Sangui Wang & Laurence Roope, 2014. "Multi-dimensional Intertemporal Poverty in Rural China," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-36, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    23. Meng, Xin & Zhang, Dandan, 2010. "Labour Market Impact of Large Scale Internal Migration on Chinese Urban 'Native' Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 5288, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    24. Ha, Wei & Yi, Junjian & Yuan, Ye & Zhang, Junsen, 2016. "The dynamic effect of rural-to-urban migration on inequality in source villages: System GMM estimates from rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 27-39.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; migrant networks; consumption; poverty; wealth; rural China;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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