EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Migration Costs, Sorting, and the Agricultural Productivity Gap

Qingen Gai, Naijia Guo, Bingjing Li, Qinghua Shi and Xiaodong Zhu ()

Working Papers from University of Toronto, Department of Economics

Abstract: We use a unique panel dataset and a policy experiment as an instrument to estimate the impact of policy-induced migration cost reductions on rural-to-urban migration and the associated increase in labor earnings for migrant workers in China. Our estimation shows that there exist both large migration costs and a large underlying productivity difference between rural agricultural and urban non-agricultural sectors in China. More than half of the observed labor earnings gap between the two sectors can be attributed to the underlying productivity difference, and less than half of the gap can be attributed to sorting of workers. We also structurally estimate a general equilibrium Roy model and use it to quantify the effects of reducing migration costs on the observed sectoral productivity difference, migration, and aggregate productivity. If we implement a hukou policy reform by setting the hukou liberalization index in all regions of China to the level of the most liberal region, the observed agricultural productivity gap would decrease by more than 30%, the migrant share would increase by about 9%, and the aggregate productivity would increase by 1.1%. In contrast, in a partial equilibrium in which the underlying productivity difference does not change with migration cost, the hukou policy reform would reduce the observed agricultural productivity gap by only 9%, the migrant share would increase by more than 50%, and the aggregate productivity would increase by 6.8%.

Keywords: Migration cost; sorting; agricultural productivity gap; panel data; general equilibrium Roy model; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E24 J24 J61 O11 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: Unknown pages
Date: 2021-04-17
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-eff, nep-int, nep-lab, nep-mac, nep-mig and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/tecipa-693.pdf Main Text (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-693

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from University of Toronto, Department of Economics 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by RePEc Maintainer ().

 
Page updated 2023-01-25
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-693