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Village political economy, land tenure insecurity, and the rural to urban migration decision : evidence from China

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  • Giles,John T.
  • Mu,Ren

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of land tenure insecurity on the migration decisions of China's rural residents. A simple model first frames the relationship among these variables and the probability that a reallocation of land will occur in the following year. After first demonstrating that a village leader's support for administrative land reallocation carries with it the risk of losing a future election, the paper exploits election-timing and village heterogeneity in lineage group composition and demographic change to identify the effect of land security. In response to an expected land reallocation in the following year, the probability that a rural resident migrates out of the county declines by 2.8 percentage points, which accounts for 17.5 percent of the annual share of village residents, aged 16 to 50, who worked as migrants during the period. This finding underscores the potential importance of secure property rights for facilitating labor market integration and the movement of labor out of agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Giles,John T. & Mu,Ren, 2014. "Village political economy, land tenure insecurity, and the rural to urban migration decision : evidence from China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7080, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7080
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    Cited by:

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    2. Ma, Shuang & Mu, Ren, 2020. "Forced off the farm? Farmers’ labor allocation response to land requisition in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    3. Luigi Minale, 2018. "Agricultural productivity shocks, labour reallocation and rural–urban migration in China," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 795-821.
    4. Xin, Liangjie & Li, Xiubin, 2019. "Rental rates of grain land for consolidated plots and their determinants in present-day China," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 421-426.
    5. Agyei-Holmes,Andrew & Buehren,Niklas & Goldstein,Markus P. & Osei,Robert Darko & Osei-Akoto,Isaac & Udry,Christopher Robert, 2020. "The Effects of Land Title Registration on Tenure Security, Investment and the Allocation of Productive Resources : Evidence from Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9376, The World Bank.
    6. Yang Yang & Hua Li & Zhen Liu & Long Cheng & Assem Abu Hatab & Jing Lan, 2020. "Effect of Forestland Property Rights and Village Off-Farm Environment on Off-Farm Employment in Southern China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(7), pages 1-17, March.
    7. Li, Shi & Vendryes, Thomas, 2018. "Real estate activity, democracy and land rights in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 54-79.
    8. Ma, Shuang & Mu, Ren, 2017. "Forced off Farm? Labor Allocation Response to Land Requisition in Rural China," IZA Discussion Papers 10640, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Gersovitz, Mark, 2016. "Sectoral asymmetries and a social-welfare interpretation of Hukou," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 108-115.
    10. Xu, Licheng & Du, Xiaodong, 2020. "Land certification, rental market participation, and income dynamics in rural China," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304247, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Zhao, Xiaoxue, 2020. "Land and labor allocation under communal tenure: Theory and evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    12. Salvatore Di Falco & Jérémy Laurent‐Lucchetti & Marcella Veronesi & Gunnar Kohlin, 2020. "Property Rights, Land Disputes and Water Scarcity: Empirical Evidence from Ethiopia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 102(1), pages 54-71, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Local Government; Regional Governance; Social Accountability; Agricultural Economics;
    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
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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