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Unequal Migration and Urbanisation Gains in China

Pierre-Philippe Combes (), Sylvie Démurger (), Shi Li () and Jianguo Wang ()
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Jianguo Wang: Beijing Information Science and Technology University, China

No 1903, Working Papers from Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon

Abstract: We assess the role of internal migration and urbanisation in China on the nominal earnings of three groups of workers (rural migrants, low-skilled natives, and high-skilled natives). We estimate the impact of many city and city-industry characteristics that shape agglomeration economies, as well as migrant and human capital externalities and substitution effects. We also account for spatial sorting and reverse causality. Location matters for individual earnings, but urban gains are unequally distributed. High-skilled natives enjoy large gains from agglomeration and migrants at the city level. Both conclusions also hold, to a lesser extent, for low-skilled natives, who are only marginally negatively affected by migrants within their industry. By contrast, rural migrants slightly lose from migrants within their industry while otherwise gaining from migration and agglomeration, although less than natives. The different returns from migration and urbanisation are responsible for a large share of wage disparities in China.

Keywords: urban development; agglomeration economies; wage disparities; migrants; human capital externalities; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O18 R12 R23 J31 O53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-geo, nep-lma, nep-mig, nep-tra and nep-ure
Date: 2019
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ftp://ftp.gate.cnrs.fr/RePEc/2019/1903.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Unequal migration and urbanisation gains in China (2020)
Working Paper: Unequal Migration and Urbanisation Gains in China (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Unequal Migration and Urbanisation Gains in China (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Unequal Migration and Urbanisation Gains in China (2018)
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