Rural Labor Migration and Households' Land Rental Behavior: Evidence from China

20 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2018

See all articles by Xianqing Ji

Xianqing Ji

Yangzhou University

Zhonghao Qian

Yangzhou University

Linxiu Zhang

Chinese Academy of Sciences - Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy

Tonglong Tom Zhang

Tianjin University

Date Written: January–February 2018

Abstract

There has been growing debate about whether the changing demographic composition due to rural labor migration could potentially threaten China's agricultural productivity. The Chinese Government is promoting the "three rights separation system" to consolidate agricultural land through the land rental market with the explicit intention of fostering new agricultural management subjects and improving agricultural productivity. The present paper estimates the effect of rural labor migration on households' participation in land renting in and renting out activities based on a unique dataset from three rounds of nationally representative surveys. Our results indicate that rural labor migration has a significant negative effect on households renting in land and has a positive effect on households renting out land in rural China. Therefore, the government should adopt targeted policies to effectively encourage farmers with higher agricultural capacity to rent in land to alleviate the negative effect of rural migration on households renting in land. Supporting policies should guarantee that rural migrants enjoy the same welfare services as urban residents.

Keywords: agricultural productivity, households' land rental behavior, rural labor migration, rural–urban China

JEL Classification: J21, J22, P25, Q13, Q15

Suggested Citation

Ji, Xianqing and Qian, Zhonghao and Zhang, Linxiu and Zhang, Tonglong Tom, Rural Labor Migration and Households' Land Rental Behavior: Evidence from China (January–February 2018). China & World Economy, Vol. 26, Issue 1, pp. 66-85, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3104210 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cwe.12229

Xianqing Ji (Contact Author)

Yangzhou University ( email )

88 Daxue Road (South)
Yangzhou
Jiangsu, 225009
China

Zhonghao Qian

Yangzhou University

88 Daxue Road (South)
Yangzhou
Jiangsu, 225009
China

Linxiu Zhang

Chinese Academy of Sciences - Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy ( email )

Anwai, Beijing, 100101
China

Tonglong Tom Zhang

Tianjin University ( email )

92, Weijin Road
Nankai District
Tianjin, Tianjin 300072
China

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