The Impacts of Rural-Urban Migration on Rural Development: Evidence from China

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

China's economic transformation since 1978 has been remarkable, including incredibly rapid growth of China’s cities. Over the last several decades, employment opportunities generated by industrialisation and the expansion of the urban construction and service sectors, along with the gradual relaxation of controls on population movements have stimulated rural-urban migration on a massive scale. It is well understood that the flow of cheap labour out of agriculture to non-agricultural sectors improves economic efficiency and provides an important source of economic growth. Less understood are the significant impacts of rural-to-urban migration on rural development, which is the topic of this thesis.

Mass migration has impacts on rural development in a number of ways, including the loss of labour, changes in household age and gender structure and off-farm income. Xinjie’s PhD research contributes to the existing realm of migration literature underpinned by the New Economics of Labour Migration (NELM), by providing new empirical evidence on the effects of lost-labour and non-agricultural earnings on agricultural output, productivity and rural incomes. This seminar will present the first of three papers that will make up Xinjie’s PhD, focusing on agricultural productivity.

About the Speaker

Xinjie Shi is a PhD candidate at the Australian Centre on China in the World. He was awarded a Bachelor of Management by China Agricultural University. His previous research included urbanization and land system reform in China. Current research interests are in agricultural economics and development economics, with a focus on the impacts of rural-urban migration on rural development in China.