Urban Villages in China: A 2008 Survey of Migrant Settlements in Beijing

Posted: 11 Nov 2019

See all articles by Siqi Zheng

Siqi Zheng

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Center for Real Estate; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning; Hang Lung Center for Real Estate, Tsinghua University

Fenjie Long

Tsinghua University

C. Cindy Fan

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Yizhen Gu

Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning & Design

Date Written: October 30, 2019

Abstract

A team of Beijing-based urban planning specialists is joined by a noted American geographer to present the results and analyze their 2008 survey of migrant settlements in China's capital city. The paper examines the living and work conditions as well as housing consumption behavior of migrants in Chinese cities, focusing on chengzhongcun or urban villages — rural settlements that have been transformed into poor living spaces for migrant workers. It finds that although migrant workers are willing to pay the same or higher rent per unit of space, they consume much smaller dwelling spaces than local residents. Estimations of the Mincerian wage equation and of a housing demand equation show that migrants' small space consumption is a function not only of low income but also of a reluctance to spend their earnings in the city. The findings reinforce the notion that migrant workers consider the city as a place to work rather than a home in which to live.

Suggested Citation

Zheng, Siqi and Long, Fenjie and Fan, C. Cindy and Gu, Yizhen, Urban Villages in China: A 2008 Survey of Migrant Settlements in Beijing (October 30, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3478280

Siqi Zheng (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Center for Real Estate ( email )

Building 9-323
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://siqizheng.mit.edu/

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

Hang Lung Center for Real Estate, Tsinghua University ( email )

HeShanHeng Building
Beijing, 100084
China

HOME PAGE: http://https://siqizheng.mit.edu/

Fenjie Long

Tsinghua University ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

C. Cindy Fan

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1361
United States
310-825-3821 (Phone)
310-206-5976 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.geog.ucla.edu

Yizhen Gu

Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning & Design

No.60, South Lishi Road
Beijing, 100045
China

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