Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Using the data from the 1990 census, this thesis studies interprovincial migration in China between 1985-90 and interprets these migrations in terms of socioeconomic development and migration policies. The main findings included the following.
1. Due to the relaxation of government intervention and the shifts of economic activities from the interior to the east and from rural to urban areas, both strong urban-ward and eastward trends characterize the interprovincial migrations.
2. Compared with females, males have greater migration propensities and their migrations depend more on personal attributes and employment-related factors in destinations than on local socioeconomic, especially living, conditions. Thus, while female migrants show an unidirectional eastward trend, male migrants dispaly not only a strong eastward but also a substantial westward trend.
3. Choice of migration reasons largely depends on both personal and place attributes. For marriage and job transfer migrants, their migrations are mainly oriented toward better living conditions and thus show a strong eastward trend. However, since job transfer migrants are subject to the strongest government control, their eastward trend was substantially weakened. For manual work & commerce migrants, while the shortage of job opportunities is the strongest origin push factor, the availability of employment opportunities in the urban informal labor market is the most important destination pull force. Thus, their migration shows both significant eastward and westward tendencies.
4. As for migrations in the city-town-rural system, first, the government's encouragement of downward migrations has little effect. Second, inter-city migrations show a substantial eastward trend and represent the second largest migration flow due to the greater ease of permanent lateral migration between cities. Third, while government control on permanent upward migration is still effective, the temporary migration policy issued in 1984 helps make temporary upward migrations from rural counties to cities the largest migration stream. Finally, it is difficult to direct upward migration from cities to towns, because towns have much fewer economic opportunities and lower quality of life than cities.
5. With the application of the concept of the neutral migration process to the observed migrations, first, for the seven provinces containing surplus labourers and also constituting the largest net losers, not only their departure rates are higher than the corresponding neutral levels, but they also get less than their fair shares of migrants from other provinces. In this way, their employment pressure could be expected to be alleviated gradually. Second, for most eastern developed provinces, not only do they get more than their fair shares of migrants from other provinces, but also their departure rates are lower than the corresponding neutral levels. As long as the gap of economic growth remains and the temporary migration policy is still effective, the strong eastward tendency would be inevitable. Finally, due to its remote location and low living standard, nine out of twelve remote provinces show a higher departure rate than the corresponding neutral level, reflecting their residents' strong will to depart. However, it is also a welcoming sign that seven out of twelve remote provinces attract more than their fair share of outmigrants (especially manual work & commerce outmigrants) from provinces with surplus labourers.
Guo, Liu, "Interprovincial Migrations in China: an Analysis Based on the 1990 Census" (1994). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7056.
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