Human Capital, Migration, and a Vent for Surplus Rural Labour in 1930s China: The Case of the Lower Yangzi

25 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2011

See all articles by James Kai-Sing Kung

James Kai-Sing Kung

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Nansheng Bai

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Yiu-Fai Lee

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 4, 2011

Abstract

A farm survey conducted in a prosperous Chinese county (Wuxi) in the Lower Yangzi region in the 1930s shows that a vent existed for surplus farm workers to obtain off-farm migrant employment and that the slack in farming created by this migration process attracted those from the lower-wage districts, resulting in the creation of a hierarchy of labour markets differentiated by education and skills. Our analysis also reveals that there were crucial links between education, migration, and income, and it refutes the claim that migration was caused by land deficiency and favoured those who lived near the urban core.

Suggested Citation

Kung, James Kai-Sing and Bai, Nansheng and Lee, Yiu-Fai, Human Capital, Migration, and a Vent for Surplus Rural Labour in 1930s China: The Case of the Lower Yangzi (January 4, 2011). The Economic History Review, Vol. 64, pp. 117-141, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1735240 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2009.00529.x

James Kai-Sing Kung (Contact Author)

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Clearwater Bay
Kowloon, 999999
Hong Kong

Nansheng Bai

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Yiu-Fai Lee

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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