Peer Migration in China

Yuyu Chen, Peking University
Ginger Zhe Jin, University of Maryland
Yang Yue, Peking University

We examine the role of social networks in job-related migration. With over 130 million rural labors migrating to the city each year, China is experiencing the largest internal migration in the human history. Based on the 2006 China Agricultural Census, we show that individual migration decisions vary greatly across villages; but migrants from the same village tend to cluster in the same destination and occupation. After using China’s one-child policy as instruments for neighbor migration, we conclude that the clustered migration is most likely driven by same-origin villagers helping each other in moving cost and job search at the destination.

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Presented in Session 90: Determinants of Immigration and Its Impact