Re-Examination of the Surplus Agricultural Labour in China
This paper contributes to the pool of studies of rural underemployment in China. It is devoted to the conceptualization and measurement of surplus labour. The agricultural labour requirement function is estimated by the stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) with China’s prefecture-level data. Surplus labour or inefficient labour is obtained by subtracting the required labour from the actual labour participated in agriculture. Our analysis indicates that the existing size of agricultural surplus labour in rural China is still significantly large with the continued practice of the household registration system and China’s WTO membership. However, the size has been decreasing over the last decade. We thus conclude that China is probably experiencing the second stage of the Lewis-Fei-Ranis dualistic economic framework.
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