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Land Tenure Arrangements and Rural-Urban Migration in China

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Listed:
  • Katrina Mullan

    () (University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy)

  • Pauline Grosjean

    () (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California)

  • Andreas Kontoleon

    () (University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy)

Abstract

This paper examines the impacts of the Chinese Household Responsibility System, which governs rural land tenure, on rural-urban migration. Migration in China has traditionally been limited by the hukou system of household registration, under which individuals who wish to change their place of residence must gain approval from government authorities. This system is currently being relaxed in an attempt to reduce inequalities between rural and urban areas. However, migration will not increase if additional constraints remain for potential migrants. Using a model of the relationship between land tenure arrangements and migration of household members, we examine whether those with greater tenure security and formal rental rights for agricultural or forest land are more likely to participate in labour markets outside the village. The finding that greater tenure security increases migration suggests that the current system of property rights, in which land is periodically reallocated, acts as a constraint on migration. This strengthens the case for further tenure reform for agricultural and forest land.

Suggested Citation

  • Katrina Mullan & Pauline Grosjean & Andreas Kontoleon, 2008. "Land Tenure Arrangements and Rural-Urban Migration in China," Environmental Economy and Policy Research Working Papers 37.2008, University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economics, revised 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:lnd:wpaper:200837
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Land tenure security; land rental rights; rural-urban migration; China;

    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
    • P32 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Collectives; Communes; Agricultural Institutions

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