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Migrant labor markets and the welfare of rural households in the developing world : evidence from China

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  • de Brauw, Alan
  • Giles, John

Abstract

In this paper, the authors examine the impact of reductions in barriers to migration on the consumption of rural households in China. The authors find that increased migration from rural villages leads to significant increases in consumption per capita, and that this effect is stronger for poorer households within villages. Household income per capita and non-durable consumption per capita both increase with out-migration, and increase more for poorer households. The authors also establish a causal relationship between increased out-migration and investment in housing and durable goods assets, and these effects are also stronger for poorer households. The authors do not find robust evidence, however, to support a connection between increased migration and investment in productive activity. Instead, increased migration is associated with two significant changes for poorer households: increases both in the total labor supplied to productive activities and in the land per capita managed by the household. In examining the effect of migration, we pay considerable attention to developing and examining our identification strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • de Brauw, Alan & Giles, John, 2008. "Migrant labor markets and the welfare of rural households in the developing world : evidence from China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4585, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4585
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Access to Finance; Population Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Labor Policies; Debt Markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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