The Retirement Migration Puzzle in China

50 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2020

See all articles by Simiao Chen

Simiao Chen

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Heidelberg University

Zhangfeng Jin

Zhejiang University

Klaus Prettner

Institute of Economics; University of Goettingen (Göttingen); University of Vienna - Austrian Academy of Sciences; Vienna University of Technology - Institute for Mathematical Methods in Economics

Date Written: January 26, 2020

Abstract

We examine whether and how retirement affects migration decisions in China. Using a regression discontinuity (RD) design approach, combined with a nationally representative sample of 228,855 adults aged between 40 and 75, we find that retirement increases the probability of migration by 12.9 p.p.. Approximately 38% of the total migration effects can be attributed to inter-temporal substitution (delayed migration). Retirement-induced migrants are lower-educated and have restricted access to social security. Household-level migration decisions can reconcile different migration responses across gender. Retirees migrate for risk sharing and family protection mechnisms, reducing market production of their families in the receiving households.

Keywords: Retirement, Migration decision, Regression discontinuity design

JEL Classification: J14, J26, J61

Suggested Citation

Chen, Simiao and Jin, Zhangfeng and Prettner, Klaus, The Retirement Migration Puzzle in China (January 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3526088 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3526088

Simiao Chen

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

Boston, MA
United States

Heidelberg University ( email )

Im Neuenheimer Feld 130/3
Heidelberg, 69120
Germany

Zhangfeng Jin (Contact Author)

Zhejiang University ( email )

38 Zheda Road
Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058
China

Klaus Prettner

Institute of Economics ( email )

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

University of Vienna - Austrian Academy of Sciences ( email )

Sonnenfelsgasse 19/2
Wien, Osterreich A-1010
Austria

Vienna University of Technology - Institute for Mathematical Methods in Economics ( email )

Argentinierstr. 8
Vienna, 1040
Austria

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