Migrations in the Urban—Rural Hierarchy of China: Insights from the Microdata of the 1987 National Survey
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Microdata from the 1987 National Population Survey are used to analyze internal migration in China in the 1980s. The focus is on the impact of migration policies on rural-urban migration. "There are two main findings. First, although the migration policy resulted in a very low migration level and systematic distortions in migration schedules, its encouragement of downward migrations was very ineffective, whereas its control on rural-to-urban migrations was partially weakened by the strong upward aspirations of rural families awakened by recent economic reform. Consequently, net in-migration contributed substantially to the growth both of city and of town populations. Second, although the level of education had a strong positive effect on the migration propensities both of males and of females in general, it had a strong negative effect on the migration propensities of females at the time of marriage, a finding which suggests that the families at subsistence income level tended to marry their daughters to grooms in other communities in order to reduce the risk of familial income shortfalls."
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