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How do Heterogeneous Social Interactions affect the Peer Effect in Rural-Urban Migration?:Empirical Evidence from China

Author

Listed:
  • Zhao Chen
  • Shiqing Jiang
  • Ming Lu
  • Hiroshi Sato

Abstract

In this paper, we use the ?002 Chinese Household Income Project Survey?(CHIPS2002) data to examine how heterogeneous social interactions affect the peer effect in the rural-urban migration decision in China. We find that the peer effect, measured by the village migration ratio, significantly increases the individual probability of outward migration. We also find that the magnitude of the peer effect is nonlinear, depending on the strength and type of social interactions with other villagers. Interactions in information sharing can increase the magnitude of the peer effect, while interactions in mutual help in labor activities, such as help in housing construction, nursing and farm work in busy seasons, will impede the positive role of the peer effect. Being aware of the simultaneity bias caused by the two-way causality between social interaction strengths and migration, we utilize "historical family political identity in land reform?as an instrumental variable for social interactions. However, the hypothesis that probit and instrumental-variable probit results are not significantly different is not rejected. The existence of a nonlinear peer effect has rich policy implications. For policy makers to encourage rural-urban migration, it is feasible to increase education investment in rural areas or increase information sharing among rural residents. However, only an increase in the constant term in the regression, i.e. a "big push?in improving institutions for migration, can help rural Chinese residents escape the low equilibrium in migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhao Chen & Shiqing Jiang & Ming Lu & Hiroshi Sato, 2008. "How do Heterogeneous Social Interactions affect the Peer Effect in Rural-Urban Migration?:Empirical Evidence from China," LICOS Discussion Papers 22408, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:22408
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shiqing Jiang & Ming Lu & Hiroshi Sato, 2008. "Happiness in the dual society of urban China:Hukou identity, horizontal inequality and heterogeneous reference," LICOS Discussion Papers 22308, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    2. Nie, Peng & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & He, Xiaobo, 2015. "Peer effects on childhood and adolescent obesity in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 47-69.
    3. Hiroshi Sato, 2010. "Growth of Villages in China, 1990–2002," Frontiers of Economics in China, Higher Education Press, vol. 5(1), pages 135-149, March.
    4. Shiqing Jiang & Ming Lu & Hiroshi Sato, 2009. "Happiness in the Dual Society of Urban China: Hukou Identity, Horizontal Inequality and Heterogeneous," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd08-020, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor migration; urbanization; peer effect; social integration; social multiplier;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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