Migration and Rural Poverty in China
Posted: 17 May 2006
We analyze two complementary household datasets from China's poor areas to examine whether the poor migrate and whether migration helps the poor. We find an inverted-U-shaped relationship between household endowments and the likelihood of migration. Over time, the poor are more likely to migrate. Using household panel data and taking prior village migration networks as an instrument, we find that having a migrant increases a household's income per capita by 8.5 to 13.1 percent, but that the overall impact on poverty is modest because most poor people do not migrate. Migrants remit a large share of their income and the amount of these remittances is responsive somewhat to the needs of other family members.
Keywords: migration, poverty, labor, remittances, China
JEL Classification: I32, J61, O15, O53
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