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Self-selection and Earnings of Migrants: Evidence from Rural China

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  • Zheren WU

    () (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)

Abstract

Using data from a rural household survey in China, this paper explores the link between employment choice (nonworking, local farm work, local nonfarm work and migratory work) and migrant earnings. We find significant self-selection in migration. Youths, males, better-educated individuals and those in good health are more likely to migrate. In terms of unobserved characteristics, we find positive selection in migration as related to the alternatives of not working and local farm work, and insignificant self-selection as related to local nonfarm work. Controlling for self-selection, the wage returns to gender (male), education and health are lower than those obtained from simple ordinary least squares (OLS), and the returns to experience are higher. More importantly, we find different self-selection between individuals who have moved as pioneers and migrants from households in which other members have already migrated.

Suggested Citation

  • Zheren WU, 2008. "Self-selection and Earnings of Migrants: Evidence from Rural China," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 08-25, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  • Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:0825
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    File URL: http://www2.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/global/dp/0825.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jason Gagnon & Theodora Xenogiani & Chunbing Xing, 2009. "Are all Migrants Really Worse off in Urban Labour Markets?: New empirical evidence from China," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 278, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Self-selection; Pioneer migrants;

    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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