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Job Contact Networks and Wages of Rural-Urban Migrants in China

Author

Listed:
  • Long, Wenjin

    () (University of Nottingham)

  • Appleton, Simon

    () (University of Nottingham)

  • Song, Lina

    () (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

In nationally representative household data from the 2008 wave of the Rural to Urban Migration in China survey, nearly two thirds of rural-urban migrants found their employment through family members, relatives, friends or acquaintances. This paper investigates why the use of social network to find jobs is so prevalent among rural-urban migrants in China, and whether migrants face a wage penalty as a result of adopting this job search method. We find evidence of positive selection effects of the use of networks on wages. Users of networks tend to be older, to have migrated longer ago and to be less educated. In addition, married workers and those from villages with more out-migrant are more likely to use networks, while those without local residential registration status are less likely. Controlling for selectivity, we find a large negative impact of network use on wages. Using job contacts brings open access to urban employment, but at the cost of markedly lower wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Long, Wenjin & Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina, 2013. "Job Contact Networks and Wages of Rural-Urban Migrants in China," IZA Discussion Papers 7577, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7577
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fang, Tony & Gunderson, Morley & Lin, Carl, 2016. "The use and impact of job search procedures by migrant workers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 154-165.
    2. Xiong, Ailun & Li, Hongyi & Westlund, Hans & Pu, Yongjian, 2017. "Social networks, job satisfaction and job searching behavior in the Chinese labor market," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-15.
    3. LIU Yang, 2015. "The Role of Individual Social Capital in Wage Determination: Evidence from China," Discussion papers 15133, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. Liang, Zhe & Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina, 2016. "Informal Employment in China: Trends, Patterns and Determinants of Entry," IZA Discussion Papers 10139, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Catia Batista & Ana Isabel Costa, 2016. "Assessing the role of social networks on migrant labor market outcomes: Evidence from a representative immigrant survey," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1601, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.
    6. Catia Batista & Ana Isabel Costa, 2016. "Assessing the role of social networks on migrant labor market outcomes: Evidence from a representative immigrant survey," FEUNL Working Paper Series novaf:wp1601, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    7. Giulietti, Corrado & Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2014. "Strong versus Weak Ties in Migration," CEPR Discussion Papers 10248, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Chen, Yuanyuan & Wang, Le & Zhang, Min, 2017. "Informal Search, Bad Search? The Effects of Job Search Method on Wages among Rural Migrants in Urban China," IZA Discussion Papers 11058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. 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

    social network; job contact; wage; rural-urban migrants; switching regression; China;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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