Return Migrants: The Rise of New Entrepreneurs in Rural China

GATE Working Paper No. 1008

32 Pages Posted: 3 May 2010 Last revised: 10 May 2010

See all articles by Sylvie Démurger

Sylvie Démurger

University of Lyon 2 - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE)

Xu Hui

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 29, 2010

Abstract

This paper analyzes return migrants’ occupational choice upon their return to their home village, by using an original rural household survey conducted in Wuwei county (Anhui province, China) in 2008. We apply two complementary approaches: a horizontal comparative analysis of occupational choice between non-migrants and return migrants, and a vertical investigation of the impact of migration experience on returnees only. Two main findings are drawn up from the estimation of probit models which account for potential selection bias and endogeneity. First, return migrants are more likely to be self-employed and to opt for higher ability jobs than non-migrants. Second, both return savings and the frequency of job changes during migration increase the likelihood for return migrants to become self-employed. These findings suggest that (a) working experience during migration enhances individual’s human capital and entrepreneurial ability, and (b) repatriated migration experience is a key stimulating factor in promoting rural entrepreneur activity.

Keywords: Return migrants, occupational change, entrepreneurship, Asia, China

JEL Classification: O15, J62, L26, O53

Suggested Citation

Démurger, Sylvie and Hui, Xu, Return Migrants: The Rise of New Entrepreneurs in Rural China (April 29, 2010). GATE Working Paper No. 1008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1597691 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1597691

Sylvie Démurger (Contact Author)

University of Lyon 2 - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE) ( email )

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Xu Hui

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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