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Urban Insiders versus Rural Outsiders: Complementarity or Competition in China`s Urban Labour Market?

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  • John Knight
  • Linda Yueh

Abstract

In China urban residents have traditionally been protected against labour market competition from rural-urban migrants. Over the period of urban economic reform, rural-urban migration was allowed to increase in order to fill the employment gap as growth of labour demand outstripped that of the resident labour force in urban areas. However, as reforms gained pace and controls were lifted, it is plausible that migrants and urban residents increasingly competed. The paper examines whether the relationship is one of complementarity in a still segmented labour market or of substitutability in an increasingly competitive labour market. It uses attitudinal responses from two urban surveys and a panel data set covering the 30 provinces over the period 1994-2000. We obtain very different results from cross-section, random effects and fixed effects panel estimates, raising interesting methodological issues. The findings are consistent with the presence of continued labour market segmentation but suggest also that competition between the two groups may be increasing.

Suggested Citation

  • John Knight & Linda Yueh, 2004. "Urban Insiders versus Rural Outsiders: Complementarity or Competition in China`s Urban Labour Market?," Economics Series Working Papers 217, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:217
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. T. S. Breusch & A. R. Pagan, 1980. "The Lagrange Multiplier Test and its Applications to Model Specification in Econometrics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 239-253.
    3. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    4. Knight, J & Song, L, 1997. "Chinese Peasant Choices : Farming, Rural Industry or Migration," Economics Series Working Papers 99188, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. Cain, Glen G, 1976. "The Challenge of Segmented Labor Market Theories to Orthodox Theory: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 1215-1257, December.
    7. John Knight & Lina Song, 2003. "Chinese Peasant Choices: Migration, Rural Industry or Farming," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(2), pages 123-148.
    8. Knight, John & Li, Shi, 2005. "Wages, firm profitability and labor market segmentation in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 205-228.
    9. Simon Appleton & John Knight & Lina Song & Qingjie Xia, 2004. "Contrasting paradigms: segmentation and competitiveness in the formation of the chinese labour market," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 185-205.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Démurger, Sylvie & Gurgand, Marc & Li, Shi & Yue, Ximing, 2009. "Migrants as second-class workers in urban China? A decomposition analysis," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 610-628, December.
    2. Gagnon, Jason & Xenogiani, Theodora & Xing, Chunbing, 2009. "Are all migrants really worse off in urban labour markets: new empirical evidence from China," MPRA Paper 16109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Liu, Yang, 2013. "Labor market matching and unemployment in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 108-128.
    4. Liu, Yang, 2012. "Does Internal Immigration Always Lead to Urban Unemployment in Emerging Economies? : A Structural Approach Based on Data from China," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 53(1), pages 85-105, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour Markets; Wages; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General

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