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The geography of migrant workers' income in China: Evidence from a migrants dynamic survey in 2017

Haijiang Wu and Qichao Wu

Growth and Change, 2021, vol. 52, issue 3, 1826-1851

Abstract: Studying the spatial pattern and determinants of migrant workers’ income is vital for grasping their mobility tendencies to better administer to this urban floating population and propel urbanization. Using 2017 data from the China Migrants Dynamic Survey, this paper adopts trend surface, standard deviation ellipse, and spatial correlation methods to describe the spatial pattern of migrant workers' income in China. It then employs econometric models to examine the spatial effects and determinants of migrant workers' income. The spatial pattern demonstrates an obvious cluster phenomenon for the migrant workers' income in prefectural cities. Based on this social context, our empirical results further show that migrant workers' income has a spatial dependence effect. Migrant workers' income is positively affected by the migrant workers' individual characteristics (demographics, outflow characteristics, social integration) and negatively affected by the external factors (public social services, economic development environment) of the cities into which they flow. There is salient spatial variation in the determinants of migrant workers' income in prefectural cities, which are divided into multifactorial influence zones, work experience and house price influence zones, and education and family influence zones by cluster analysis, and into eastern and midwestern influence zones according to China's three economic areas.

Date: 2021
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