Labor Market and the Native-Immigrant Wage Gap: Evidence from urban China

Author Name LIU Yang (Fellow, RIETI) / KAWATA Keisuke (Hiroshima University)
Creation Date/NO. December 2015 15-E-142
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By developing a model based on recent wage theories, we examine workers' wage determination, considering not only human-capital related factors but also the labor market. We also consider the price level using a city-specific consumer price index. Data come from a national survey in China, while unlike previous studies that examine temporary rural-urban migrants in China, we concentrate on permanent rural migrants who have obtained an urban household registration. We find that considering the effects of the labor market is important in examining workers' wage determination. The decomposition result shows that different effects of market tightness and unemployment benefits are the two primary reasons for the wage differential between the two groups, whereas education does not contribute to the wage gap. As a policy implication, our results indicate that supporting the workers' ability to adapt to the labor markets could reduce wage inequality.

Published: Liu, Yang, and Keisuke Kawata, 2022. "Labour market and wage inequalities between permanent rural migrants and urban-born residents in China," Applied Economics, Volume 54, Issue 9, 996-1010.