Social Networks and Mental Health Problems: Evidence from Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China
Xin Meng () and
Sen Xue ()
Additional contact information
Sen Xue: Jinan University
No 10481, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
Over the past two decades, more than 160 million rural residents have migrated to cities in China. They are usually separated from their rural families and work in an unfamiliar, and sometimes hostile, city environment. This paper investigates to what extent city social networks alleviate mental health problems among these migrants. Using the longitudinal migrant survey from the Rural-to-Urban Migration in China (RUMiC) project, we find that larger social networks are significantly correlated with fewer mental health problems in both OLS and fixed effect estimates. To mitigate the endogeneity issue, we use past rainfall in the home county and the distance between home village and the closest transportation centre as the instrument variables for city social networks. The instrument variable estimates and fixed effect instrumental variable estimates suggest that an additional person in the city social networks of migrants reduces GHQ 12 by 0.12 to 0.16 Likert points. The results are robust for migrants who are less educated, who work long hours and who do not have access to social insurances in the city.
Keywords: mental health; social networks; migration; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 I18 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-hea, nep-mig, nep-soc, nep-tra and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10481
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().