Job Contact Networks and Wages of Rural-Urban Migrants in China

34 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2013

See all articles by Wenjin Long

Wenjin Long

University of Nottingham

Simon Appleton

University of Nottingham - School of Economics

Lina Song

Nottingham University Business School

Abstract

In nationally representative household data from the 2008 wave of the Rural to Urban Migration in China survey, nearly two thirds of rural-urban migrants found their employment through family members, relatives, friends or acquaintances. This paper investigates why the use of social network to find jobs is so prevalent among rural-urban migrants in China, and whether migrants face a wage penalty as a result of adopting this job search method. We find evidence of positive selection effects of the use of networks on wages. Users of networks tend to be older, to have migrated longer ago and to be less educated. In addition, married workers and those from villages with more out-migrant are more likely to use networks, while those without local residential registration status are less likely. Controlling for selectivity, we find a large negative impact of network use on wages. Using job contacts brings open access to urban employment, but at the cost of markedly lower wages.

Keywords: social network, job contact, wage, rural-urban migrants, switching regression, China

JEL Classification: J24, J31, O15

Suggested Citation

Long, Wenjin and Appleton, Simon and Song, Lina, Job Contact Networks and Wages of Rural-Urban Migrants in China. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7577, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2318758

Wenjin Long (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham ( email )

Simon Appleton

University of Nottingham - School of Economics ( email )

University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

Lina Song

Nottingham University Business School ( email )

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

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