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Cultural integration among non‐Han migrants in urban China: To what extent does intermarriage matter?

Zerong Wang and Guochang Zhao

Growth and Change, 2022, vol. 53, issue 4, 1490-1512

Abstract: With the rapid urbanization, a massive number of Han and non‐Han people have migrated into Chinese cities. However, the quite different backgrounds of non‐Han migrants may make their cultural integration much more difficult. Using data from the National Migrant Population Dynamic Monitoring Survey (MDMS) in 2017, this study examines whether intermarried migrants have higher cultural integration in the destination municipality than their non‐intermarried counterparts, and explores its mechanisms. To account for the potential endogeneity problem, we use historical intermarriage ratio of the older cohorts in migrants’ home municipality as the instrumental variable of intermarriage. Results suggest that intermarriage has a positive effect on cultural integration of non‐Han migrants. Marrying Hans increases non‐Han migrants’ cultural integration by about 0.89 standard deviations. The mediating analyses show that social interaction is one potential mechanism but it merely explains 4% of the aggregate effect of intermarriage on cultural integration. We also find that the positive impact of intermarriage on cultural integration is driven by subsamples of female, highly educated, urban‐to‐urban, and inter‐province migrants. These findings have strong policy implications for non‐Han floating population administration in urban China.

Date: 2022
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