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Migration in towns in China, a tale of three provinces : evidence from preliminary tabulations of 2000 census

  • Shi, Anqing
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    There is a concern that the growth of towns in China has been stalled recently and with it, the creation of nonfarm jobs in rural industries. The author uses the 2000 census tabulations to look at this issue by examining in-migration in towns in three provinces in China-Zhejiang, Henan, and Sichuan-their educational attainment, original place, and occupational composition. In addition to the diversified patterns of town in-migrants revealed in the three provinces, the author finds that town in-migrants generallypossess a higher level of educational attainment than the local population in towns, especially in the less developed western and central regions. This inflow of human capital could foster development in towns. There is also evidence that as economic opportunity increases in towns, such as in richer coastal province of Zhejiang, better educated people in rural areas are likely to shift their jobs from the farm to the nonfarm sector in towns nearby, instead of leaving the countryside to migrate to other provinces. This could reduce migration pressure on big cities. Finally, the labor market in towns in the less developed west and central regions is more flexible in accommodating in-migrants, whereas in the developed province of Zhejiang the labor market is segregated between migrants and the local population.

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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3890.

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    Date of creation: 01 Apr 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3890
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    1. Zhao, Yaohui, 1999. "Labor Migration and Earnings Differences: The Case of Rural China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(4), pages 767-82, July.
    2. Knight, J & Song, L & Huaibin, J, 1997. "Chinese Rural Migrants in Urban Enterprises : Three Perspectives," Economics Series Working Papers 99190, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Denise Hare, 1999. "'Push' versus 'pull' factors in migration outflows and returns: Determinants of migration status and spell duration among China's rural population," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 45-72.
    4. Schultz, T Paul, 1982. "Lifetime Migration within Educational Strata in Venezuela: Estimates of a Logistic Model," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(3), pages 559-93, April.
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