Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/69421
Authors: 
Zhang, Junfu
Zhao, Zhong
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper Series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 7160
Abstract: 
Rural-urban migrants in China appear to prefer nearby destination cities. To gain a better understanding of this phenomenon, we build a simple model in which migrants from rural areas choose among potential destination cities to maximize utility. The distance between a migrant's home village and destination city is explicitly included in the utility function. Using recent survey data, we first estimate an individual's expected income in each potential destination city using a semi-parametric method, controlling for potential self-selection biases. We then estimate the indirect utility function for rural- urban migrants in China based on their migration destination choices. Our baseline estimates suggest that to induce a migrant to move 10 percent further away from home, the income of this migrant has to increase by 15 percent. This elasticity varies very little with migration distance; it is slightly higher for female than male migrants; it is not affected by the migrant's age, education, or marital status. We explore possible explanations of these results and discuss their policy implications.
Subjects: 
income-distance tradeoff
rural-urban migration
hukou system
China
JEL: 
O15
R12
R23
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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