Relaxing Migration Constraints for Rural Households

46 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2015

See all articles by Cynthia Kinnan

Cynthia Kinnan

Northwestern University - Department of Economics

Shing-Yi B. Wang

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Yongxiang Wang

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Date Written: July 2015

Abstract

This paper exploits two unique features of China's history to study the effects of access to internal migration: reforms to the household registration (hukou) system, and historical migration flows. We show that temporary migration due to a government policy called the “sent-down youth” (SDY) program created lasting inter-province links, so that decades later, hukou reforms in cities which sent SDY increased migration in provinces where those SDY temporarily resided. Using this variation, we find that improved access to migration leads to higher consumption levels and lower consumption volatility for rural households. Furthermore, household production shifts into high-risk, high-return activities.

Suggested Citation

Kinnan, Cynthia and Wang, Shing-Yi B. and Wang, Yongxiang, Relaxing Migration Constraints for Rural Households (July 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21314, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2626988

Cynthia Kinnan (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )

2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Shing-Yi B. Wang

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Yongxiang Wang

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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