Do negative native – Place stereotypes lead to discriminatory wage penalties in China’s Migrant Labor Markets?

Do negative native – Place stereotypes lead to discriminatory wage penalties in China’s Migrant Labor Markets? Wage penalties in China’s migrant labor markets? IZA Discussion Paper No.8842 February 2015

China’s linguistic and geographic diversity leads many Chinese individuals to identify themselves and others not simply as Chinese, but rather by their native place and provincial origin. Negative personality traits are often attributed to people from specific areas. People from Henan, in particular, appear to be singled out as possessing a host of negative traits.
Such prejudice does not necessarily lead to wage discrimination. Whether or not it does depends on the nature of the local labor markets. This chapter uses data from the 2008 and 2009 migrant surveys of the Rural-Urban Migration in China Project (RUMiC) to explorewhether native-place wage discrimination affects migrant workers in China’s urban labormarkets. We analyze the question of wage discrimination among migrants by estimatingwage equations for men andwomen, controlling for human capital characteristics, province oforigin, and destination city. Of key interest here are the variables representing provinces oforigin. We find no systemic differences by province of origin in the hourly wages of male andfemale migrants. However, in a few specific cases, we find that migrants from a particularprovince earn significantly less than those from local areas. Male migrants from Henan inShanghai are paid much less than their fellow migrants from Anhui. In the Jiangsu cities ofNanjing and  Jiangsu migrants.

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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