Social Protection and Migration in China: What Can Protect Migrants from Economic Uncertainty?

21 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2008

See all articles by Lina Song

Lina Song

Nottingham University Business School

Simon Appleton

University of Nottingham - School of Economics

Abstract

Job-related welfare entitlements are common in China. Migrants who do not hold urban registration are, in principle, not entitled to job-related welfare even if they are employees in the State sector. The official explanation is that rural-urban migrants are allocated access to farm land in their rural origins, and hence their welfare rights and security are covered by this entitlement to the use of land. In this paper, we look at whether migrants still benefited from these opportunities. Second, we investigate whether it is the poor, the unentitled and the vulnerable that are excluded from public protection programs. Chinese official social protection programs are, like in most western countries, officially designated as being for poverty alleviation. However would such programs still be targeted in ways that limit their coverage, curtail the range of basic needs provided for and allocate benefits very unequally? Thirdly, we explore whether households with favourable productive characteristics are more likely to get into social protection programs. Here, the ongoing debate concerning equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes has some relevance. Finally, we examine the roles social networks or Guanxi (the Chinese term for social connections) may play in dealing with economic shocks.

Keywords: migration, social protection, entitlement, China

JEL Classification: H41, H42, D63

Suggested Citation

Song, Lina and Appleton, Simon, Social Protection and Migration in China: What Can Protect Migrants from Economic Uncertainty?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3594, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1184004 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Lina Song (Contact Author)

Nottingham University Business School ( email )

Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road,
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom
0115 8466217 (Phone)

Simon Appleton

University of Nottingham - School of Economics ( email )

University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
127
Abstract Views
809
rank
265,974
PlumX Metrics