Urban Villages in China: A 2008 Survey of Migrant Settlements in Beijing
Posted: 11 Nov 2019
Date Written: October 30, 2019
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: Suggested Citation