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Job Mobility of Residents and Migrants in Urban China

Author

Listed:
  • John Knight
  • Linda Yueh
  • Linda Y. Yueh

Abstract

The large-scale reform of the state-owned sector and the development of a private sector in the 1990s changed the nature of employment in urban China. The system of allocated, lifelong jobs (the iron rice bowl) that had previously prevailed under state planning was eroded, permitting more labour turnover and mobility. The degree of mobility of urban workers in China appears not to have been researched, no doubt because there was so little until recently. Using an urban household survey for 1999 that has rich data on job duration, job change and the reasons for it, we provide a first analysis of inter-firm mobility in the urban labour market, its evolution and its explanation. A distinction is made between the, institutionally favoured, urban residents and the rural-urban migrants. The mobility rate of migrants greatly exceeds that of urban residents. For both groups the extent, patterns, determinants and consequences of mobility are explored.

Suggested Citation

  • John Knight & Linda Yueh & Linda Y. Yueh, 2003. "Job Mobility of Residents and Migrants in Urban China," Economics Series Working Papers 163, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:163
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper163.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Knight, John & Song, Lina, 1999. "The Rural-Urban Divide: Economic Disparities and Interactions in China," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293309.
    2. Hashimoto, Masanori & Raisian, John, 1985. "Employment Tenure and Earnings Profiles in Japan and the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 721-735.
    3. Knight, J B & Sabot, R H, 1982. "From Migrants to Proletarians: Employment Experience, Mobility and Wages in Tanzania," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 44(3), pages 199-226, August.
    4. Knight, John & Song, Lina, 2006. "Towards a Labour Market in China," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199215553.
    5. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Search Unemployment with On-the-job Search," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 457-475.
    6. John Knight & Lina Song & Jia Huaibin, 1999. "Chinese rural migrants in urban enterprises: Three perspectives," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 73-104.
    7. Greenwald, Bruce & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. "Pareto Inefficiency of Market Economies: Search and Efficiency Wage Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 351-355.
    8. Knight, John B & Song, Lina, 1991. "The Determinants of Urban Income Inequality in China," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(2), pages 123-154, May.
    9. Keith, Kristen, 1993. "Reputation, Voluntary Mobility and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 559-563, August.
    10. Mincer, Jacob & Higuchi, Yoshio, 1988. "Wage structures and labor turnover in the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 97-133, June.
    11. Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
    12. Collier, P & Knight, J B, 1985. "Seniority Payments, Quit Rates, and Internal Labour Markets in Britain and Japan," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 47(1), pages 19-32, February.
    13. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
    14. Appleton, Simon & Knight, John & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2002. "Labor retrenchment in China: Determinants and consequences," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 252-275.
    15. Greenwald, Bruce & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. "Pareto Inefficiency of Market Economies: Search and Efficiency Wage Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 351-355.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour mobility; labour turnover; layoffs; China;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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