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A Field Study of Chinese Migrant Workers' Attitudes toward Risks, Strategic Uncertainty, and Competitiveness

Author

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  • Hao, Li

    (University of Arkansas, Fayetteville)

  • Houser, Daniel

    (George Mason University)

  • Mao, Lei

    (Central University of Finance and Economics)

  • Villeval, Marie Claire

    (CNRS, GATE)

Abstract

Using a field experiment in China, we study whether migration status is correlated with attitudes toward risk, ambiguity, and competitiveness. Our subjects include migrants and non-migrants. We find that, migrants exhibit no differences from non-migrants in risk and ambiguity preferences elicited using pairs of lotteries; however, migrants are significantly more likely to enter competition in the presence of strategic uncertainty when they expect competitive entries from others. Our results suggest that migration may be driven more by a stronger belief in one's ability to succeed in an uncertain and competitive environment than by risk attitudes under state uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Hao, Li & Houser, Daniel & Mao, Lei & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2014. "A Field Study of Chinese Migrant Workers' Attitudes toward Risks, Strategic Uncertainty, and Competitiveness," IZA Discussion Papers 8227, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8227
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    Cited by:

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    2. Akgüç, Mehtap & Liu, Xingfei & Tani, Massimiliano & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2016. "Risk attitudes and migration," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 166-176.
    3. Shi, Xiaojun & Yan, Zhu, 2018. "Urbanization and risk preference in China: A decomposition of self-selection and assimilation effects," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 210-228.
    4. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Rohorua, Halahingano & Stillman, Steven, 2019. "The long-term impact of international migration on economic decision-making: Evidence from a migration lottery and lab-in-the-field experiments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 99-115.
    5. Roberto Roca Paz & Silke Uebelmesser, 2021. "Risk attitudes and migration decisions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 649-684, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    strategic uncertainty; risk preferences; migration; ambiguity; field experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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