Démurger Sylvie, Hui Xu (2013), Left-behind children and return decisions of rural migrants in China, with Xu Hui, IZA Discussion Paper No. 7727, November 2013.
IZA Discussion Paper No.7727 November 2013
Left-Behind Children and Return Decisions of Rural Migrants in China. This paper examines how left-behind children influence return migration in China. We first present a simple illustrative model based on Dustmann (2003) that incorporates economic and non-conomic motives for migration duration (or intentions to return), among which are parents’ concerns about the well-being of their left-behind children. We then propose two complementary empirical tests based on data we collected from rural households in Wuwei county (Anhui province) in fall 2008. We first use a discrete-time proportional hazard model to estimate the determinants of migration duration for both on-going migrants with an incomplete length of duration and return migrants with a complete length of duration. Second, we apply a binary Probit model to study the return intentions of on-going migrants. Both models yield consistent results regarding the role of left-behind children as a significant motive for return. First, left-behind children are found to draw their parents back to the village, the effect being stronger for pre-school children. Second, sons are found to play a more important role than daughters in reducing migration duration.
Seth E. Werner (January 2012), After work or study abroad: Chinese return migration and Kunming’s ‘Jia Xiang Bao’ – hometown babies. University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. vii, 163 p.Full text available on University of Minnesota digitalconservancy: http://conservancy.umn.edu/handle/120985
The process of migration has long been framed as a unidirectional process comprised of arrival, settlement, citizenship and assimilation motivated by economic necessities. This dissertation moves beyond these limited views and utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to explore the process of return migration of Chinese nationals to Kunming, China. By utilizing in-depth interviews and observation to explore the motivations of a specific group of returnees to Kunming, a rapidly changing city in China’s developing western region, this study has identified three insights that can contribute to a better understating of the return migration process. The first two key findings – jia xiang bao `hometown babies’ and the desire to be a `big fish in a little sea’ – can motivate future policy decisions that seek to attract returnees. The third, unexpected finding – xiao xiong xin or `little ambition’ of younger generations – acknowledges the perceived heterogeneity among returnees. Further research and policy efforts that recognize heterogeneity by age group and other potentially important but, as yet unstudied factors will be able to develop a more nuanced understanding of the ever larger and inevitably more diverse returnee population.