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Frontiers of Economics in China

Front. Econ. China    2016, Vol. 11 Issue (4) : 548-580     DOI: 10.3868/s060-005-016-0029-5
Orginal Article |
Aging and Migration: Micro and Macro Evidence from China
Örn B. Bodvarsson1,Jack W. Hou2,Kailing Shen3()
1. College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies, California State University, Sacramento, California 95819–6109, USA
2. Department of Economics, California State University-Long Beach, Long Beach, CA 90840, USA; Henan University
3. Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China; Research School of Economics, College of Business and Economics, Australian National University, Canberra 0200, Australia; IZA, Bonn, Germany
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Post-reform China has been experiencing two major demographic changes: an increasingly aging population and an extraordinary surge of rural-urban migrants. The question we ask is: are these two demographic changes related? If yes, then, how? The standard view in the migration literature is that the older the migrant, the lower the likelihood of migration. This paper proposes a simple theory of temporary migration for unskilled labor to fit the context of China. Motivated by our model, we then use both cross-sectional micro data and panel macro data to examine the potential impacts of aging on migration. We find that shifts in China’s age distribution have generated significant changes in the country’s migration patterns: migration will shift to closer provinces (probably switching from interprovincial migration to intra-provincial migration) and will concentrate to a few destination provinces.

Keywords internal migration      age distribution      reform     
Issue Date: 20 January 2017
 Cite this article:   
?rn B. Bodvarsson,Jack W. Hou,Kailing Shen. Aging and Migration: Micro and Macro Evidence from China[J]. Front. Econ. China, 2016, 11(4): 548-580.
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?rn B. Bodvarsson
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Kailing Shen
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