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Are all migrants really worse off in urban labour markets: new empirical evidence from China

  • Gagnon, Jason
  • Xenogiani, Theodora
  • Xing, Chunbing

The rapid and massive increase in rural-to-urban worker flows to the coast of China has drawn recent attention to the welfare of migrants working in urban regions, particularly to their working conditions and pay; serious concern is raised regarding pay discrimination against rural migrants. This paper uses data from a random draw of the 2005 Chinese national census survey to shed more light on the discrimination issue, by making comparisons of earnings and the sector of work between rural migrants on one hand, and urban residents and urban migrants on the other. Contrary to popular belief, we find no earnings discrimination against rural migrants compared to urban residents. However, rural migrants are found to be discriminated in terms of the sector in which they work, with a vast majority working in the informal sector lacking adequate social protection.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16109.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16109
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  1. Lin, Justin Y & Wang, Gewei & Zhao, Yaohui, 2004. "Regional Inequality and Labor Transfers in China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 587-603, April.
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  7. 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.
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  16. WANG Tianhong & Atsushi MARUYAMA & Masao KIKUCHI, 2000. "Rural-Urban Migration And Labor Markets In China: A Case Study In A Northeastern Province," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 38(1), pages 80-104, 03.
  17. 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.
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