A Field Study of Chinese Migrant Workers' Attitudes Toward Risks, Strategic Uncertainty, and Competitiveness

47 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2014

See all articles by Li Hao

Li Hao

University of Arkansas - Department of Economics

Daniel Houser

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Lei Mao

University of Angers - Institute of Economic Theory and Analysis (GATE)

Marie Claire Villeval

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Abstract

Using a field experiment in China, we study whether migration status is correlated with attitudes toward risk, ambiguity, and competitiveness. Our subjects include migrants and non-migrants. We find that, migrants exhibit no differences from non-migrants in risk and ambiguity preferences elicited using pairs of lotteries; however, migrants are significantly more likely to enter competition in the presence of strategic uncertainty when they expect competitive entries from others. Our results suggest that migration may be driven more by a stronger belief in one's ability to succeed in an uncertain and competitive environment than by risk attitudes under state uncertainty.

Keywords: migration, risk preferences, strategic uncertainty, ambiguity, field experiment

JEL Classification: C93, D03, D63, J61

Suggested Citation

Hao, Li and Houser, Daniel and Mao, Lei and Villeval, Marie Claire, A Field Study of Chinese Migrant Workers' Attitudes Toward Risks, Strategic Uncertainty, and Competitiveness. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8227, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2450418

Li Hao (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Economics ( email )

Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States
4795758167 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://comp.uark.edu/~lhao

Daniel Houser

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science ( email )

5th Floor, Vernon Smith Hall
George Mason University
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
7039934856 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~dhouser/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Lei Mao

University of Angers - Institute of Economic Theory and Analysis (GATE) ( email )

93, chemin des Mouilles
Monnaie et Finance at Lyon
69130 Ecully cedex
France

Marie Claire Villeval

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS ( email )

93, chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, 69130
France
+33 472 86 60 79 (Phone)
+33 472 86 60 90 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gate.cnrs.fr/equipe/perso/villeval/villeval.html

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Collogne
Germany

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