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Do Employers Prefer Undocumented Workers? Evidence from China's Hukou System

Peter Kuhn () and Kailing Shen ()

No 8289, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We study urban Chinese employers' preferences between workers with and without a local residence permit (hukou) using callback information from an Internet job board serving private sector employers. We find that employers prefer migrant workers to locals who are identically matched to the job's requirements; these preferences are especially strong at low skill levels. We argue that migrants' higher work hours and effort help to account for employers' preferences, and present evidence that efficiency wage and intertemporal labor substitution effects might explain these hours/effort gaps.

Keywords: undocumented migrants; hukou; China; temporary migration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O15 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-dem, nep-hrm, nep-lab, nep-lma, nep-mig and nep-tra
Date: 2014-06
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Published as 'Do Employers Prefer Migrant Workers? Evidence from a Chinese Job Board' in: IZA Journal of Labor Economics, 4(2), 2015,

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