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OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

Are all Migrants Really Worse off in Urban Labour Markets?

New empirical evidence from China

The rapid and massive increase in rural-to-urban worker flows to the coast of China has drawn recent attention to the welfare of migrants working in urban regions, particularly to their working conditions and pay; serious concern is raised regarding pay discrimination against rural migrants. This paper uses data from a random draw of the 2005 Chinese national census survey to shed more light on the discrimination issue, by making comparisons of earnings and the sector of work between rural migrants on one hand, and urban residents and urban migrants on the other. Contrary to popular belief, we find no earnings discrimination against rural migrants compared to urban residents. However, rural migrants are found to be discriminated in terms of the sector in which they work, with a vast majority working in the informal sector lacking adequate social protection.

English

Keywords: discrimination, migration, China, informal employment
JEL: J24: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity; J71: Labor and Demographic Economics / Labor Discrimination / Labor Discrimination; O15: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration; R23: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Household Analysis / Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics
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