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Where Are Migrants from? Inter- vs. Intra-Provincial Rural-Urban Migration in China

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  • Su, Yaqin
  • Tesfazion, Petros
  • Zhao, Zhong

Abstract

Using a representative sample of rural migrants in cities, this paper investigates where the migrants in urban China come from, paying close attention to intra-provincial vs. inter-provincial migrants, and examining the differences in their personal attributes. We find that migrants who have come within the province differ significantly from those who have come from outside of the province. Using a nested logit model, we find that overall, higher wage differentials, larger population size, higher GDP per capita, and faster employment growth rate are the attributes of a city that attract migrants from both within and outside province. In addition, moving beyond one’s home province has a strong deterrent effect on migration, analogous to the “border effect” identified in international migration studies. We also explore the role of culture, institutional barrier, and dialect in explaining such a pronounced “border effect”.

Suggested Citation

  • Su, Yaqin & Tesfazion, Petros & Zhao, Zhong, 2017. "Where Are Migrants from? Inter- vs. Intra-Provincial Rural-Urban Migration in China," GLO Discussion Paper Series 120, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:120
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    2. Shaoyao Zhang & Xueqian Song & Jiangjun Wan & Ying Liu & Wei Deng, 2019. "The Features of Rural Labor Transfer and Cultural Differences: Evidence from China’s Southwest Mountainous Areas," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(6), pages 1-15, March.
    3. He, Ming & Chen, Yang & van Marrewijk, Charles, 2021. "The effects of urban transformation on productivity spillovers in China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 473-488.
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    5. Guangliang Yang & Lixing Li & Shihe Fu, 2020. "Do rural migrants benefit from labor market agglomeration economies? Evidence from Chinese cities," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 910-931, September.
    6. Fiona Burlig & Anant Sudarshan & Garrison Schlauch, 2021. "The Impact of Domestic Travel Bans on COVID-19 is Nonlinear in Their Duration," NBER Working Papers 28699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ge, Teng & Wu, Tao, 2020. "Search, migration, and social connections: Solving the migration puzzle to Beijing," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    8. Christine Wen & Jeremy L. Wallace, 2019. "Toward Human-Centered Urbanization? Housing Ownership and Access to Social Insurance Among Migrant Households in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(13), pages 1-14, June.
    9. de Bruin, Anne & Liu, Na, 2020. "The urbanization-household gender inequality nexus: Evidence from time allocation in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    10. Feng Wang & Wenna Fan & Xiangyan Lin & Juan Liu & Xin Ye, 2020. "Does Population Mobility Contribute to Urbanization Convergence? Empirical Evidence from Three Major Urban Agglomerations in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(2), pages 1-20, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rural-urban migration; Inter- vs. intra-provincial migration; Border effect; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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