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Agricultural Land and Rural-Urban Migration in China: A New Pattern

Author

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  • Xiao, Wei

    () (Research Institute of Economics and Management, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics)

  • Zhao, Guochang

    () (Research Institute of Economics and Management, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics)

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of agricultural land on rural-urban migration and the labor market outcomes in the context of China. We employ the rural sample of the 2009 RUMiC data, which cover approximately 8000 rural households in 82 counties of China. We find that an increase in the agricultural land of a household tends to increase the household members’ propensity for migration for working in cities. We also find that an increase in land significantly decreases the number of days of migration, increases the number of days of farming work, and decreases the number of days of local non-farming work. More interestingly, the negative effect on time for local non-farming work is much larger than that for non-local non-farming work. The increase in the amount of agricultural land also pushes household members to move further. These results show us a new pattern different from the literature. To explain such a difference, we compare the effect of land among different age-groups and find that the positive link between agricultural land and rural-urban migration only exists for young people. Therefore, our results may reflect the change of the role of agricultural land over time. Our finding that less agricultural land hinders rural-urban migration suggests that, to help rural residents access opportunities in cities, governments should implement policies targeting households with less agricultural land.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiao, Wei & Zhao, Guochang, 2018. "Agricultural Land and Rural-Urban Migration in China: A New Pattern," RIEI Working Papers 2018-09, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Research Institute for Economic Integration.
  • Handle: RePEc:xjt:rieiwp:2018-09
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Agricultural land; rural-urban migration; time allocation; China;

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