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Migrants and Firms: Evidence from China

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  • Imbert, Clement

    (University of Warwick and JPAL)

  • Seror, Marlon

    (University of Bristol, DIAL, Institut Convergences Migrations)

  • Zylberberg, Yanos

    (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

  • Zhang, Yifan

    (University of Bristol, CESifo, the Alan Turing Institute)

Abstract

How does rural-urban migration shape urban production in developing countries? We use longitudinal data on Chinese manufacturing firms between 2001 and 2006, and exploit exogenous variation in rural-urban migration induced by agricultural price shocks for identification. We find that, when immigration increases, manufacturing production becomes more labor-intensive in the short run. In the longer run, firms innovate less, move away from capital-intensive technologies, and adopt final products that use low-skilled labor more intensively. We develop a model with endogenous technological choice, which rationalizes these findings, and we estimate the effect of migration on factor productivity and factor allocation across firms. JEL codes: D24; J23; J61; O15

Suggested Citation

  • Imbert, Clement & Seror, Marlon & Zylberberg, Yanos & Zhang, Yifan, 2020. "Migrants and Firms: Evidence from China," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1254, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1254
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    Cited by:

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    2. Danzer, Alexander M. & Feuerbaum, Carsten & Gaessler, Fabian, 2020. "Labor Supply and Automation Innovation," IZA Discussion Papers 13429, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    4. Raphael Corbi & Tiago Ferraz, 2018. "Rainfall, Internal Migration and Local labor Markets in Brazil," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2018_24, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    5. Selod, Harris & Shilpi, Forhad, 2021. "Rural-urban migration in developing countries: Lessons from the literature," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).

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    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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