Health Status and Earnings of Migrant Workers from Rural China

16 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2015

See all articles by Lijian Qin

Lijian Qin

Anhui University of Finance and Economics

Chien-Ping Chen

University of Houston - Victoria - School of Business Administration

Xun Liu

Texas Tech University

Chenggang Wang

Texas Tech University - Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Zhongyi Jiang

Government of India - Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry of Agriculture of China

Date Written: March–April 2015

Abstract

The migration of rural laborers into cities for employment has been one of the main driving forces of China's economic growth over the past three decades. Based on a dataset collected by the Ministry of Agriculture of China from 2003 to 2007, this paper examines the impact of health on the earnings of migrant workers engaging in physically‐intensive work requiring good health. Our findings indicate that a poor health status not only weakens the incentive of rural laborers to participate in the migrant labor force but also significantly reduces their earnings. A migrant worker in poor health only earns 67 percent of what a healthy worker makes. Among all the human capital characteristics and family economic factors, health status is the most influential on earnings for less educated workers. Labor productivity has a greater impact on earnings than the annual number of days that a person works. Ongoing health‐care reforms aimed at the improvement of the health‐care services available to rural laborers are urged to help reduce poverty in rural China.

Keywords: earnings, health, labor market, migrant workers

JEL Classification: I14, I32, J24, J61

Suggested Citation

Qin, Lijian and Chen, Chien-Ping and Liu, Xun and Wang, Chenggang and Jiang, Zhongyi, Health Status and Earnings of Migrant Workers from Rural China (March–April 2015). China & World Economy, Vol. 23, Issue 2, pp. 84-99, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2585257 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cwe.12108

Lijian Qin (Contact Author)

Anhui University of Finance and Economics ( email )

Cao Shan Road No.962
Bengbu, 233030
China

Chien-Ping Chen

University of Houston - Victoria - School of Business Administration ( email )

14000 University Blvd.
Sugar Land, TX 77479
United States
281-275-8811 (Phone)

Xun Liu

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

Chenggang Wang

Texas Tech University - Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

Suite 167, 2625 Memorial Circle
TTU Administration
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

Zhongyi Jiang

Government of India - Ministry of Agriculture

Chennai
India

Ministry of Agriculture of China ( email )

No.11 Nongzhanguan Nanli
Beijing, 100125
China

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