Job Mobility of Residents and Migrants in Urban China
Linda Y. Yueh
The large-scale reform of the state-owned sector and the development of a private sector in the 1990s changed the nature of employment in urban China. The system of allocated, lifelong jobs (the "iron rice bowl") that had previously prevailed under state planning was eroded, permitting more labour turnover and mobility. The degree of mobility of urban workers in China appears not to have been researched, no doubt because there was so little until recently. Using an urban household survey for 1999 that has rich data on job duration, job change and the reasons for it, we provide a first analysis of inter-firm mobility in the urban labour market, its evolution and its explanation. A distinction is made between the, institutionally favoured, urban residents and the rural-urban migrants. The mobility rate of migrants greatly exceeds that of urban residents. For both groups the extent, patterns, determinants and consequences of mobility are explored.
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