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Political economy of the floating Chinese population

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... In recent years, there has been an upsurge of interest in the study of living status of floating population in the destination places. This literature has unfailingly pointed out a visible segmentation in both labour market and local communities in the destination places and it is found that floating population are at a considerable disadvantage by comparison with urban residents – with regard to job opportunity, income, housing, health care, etc. (Lei, 2001; Li, Sun & Yang, 2003; Shen & Huang, 2003; Solinger, 1999; Wu, 2002). ...
... When it comes to the comparison between floating population and the urban permanent residents, the 1995's sample survey and the 2000 national census both reported that the former group's educational attainment is lower than that of the latter group (Hu, 2002; Jia, 2000). Exceptions are also found in some localities, Tan's research on female migrants in the Pearl River Delta found that after controlling for age, female migrants in the area have a higher level of education than the local female rural population (Tan, 2000). ...
... Features of labour sending areas always functioned as negative factors that pushed labour to move; characteristics of labour receiving areas were generally those positive factors facilitating migration as pull forces. According to the researches of this type, push factors in China's internal migration include: the high population-to-land ratio; overtly underemployment arising from technical innovation and economic reform; failure of township-and village-run enterprises (TVEs) to keep absorbing surplus rural labourers; increasing in the costs of farm inputs and the following comparatively lower earning from agricultural production, etc. Pull factors can be: increasing demand of rural labour force in China's process of industrialization; the existence of different economic growth rate and great inequalities between rural and urban areas; the higher wages, better facilities and educational opportunities, more varied entertainment and greater availability of consumer food in cities; and finally, the release on the control over city hukou (Huang, 1997; Mackenzie, 2002, Murphy, 2002; Wei, 2000; etc.). ...
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Title proper from title frame. Thesis (M. Phil.)--University of Hong Kong, 2006. Text (Electronic book) Mode of access: World Wide Web.
... Upon the Communist take over of China in 1949, Mao Zedong implements from the gentry class to the landless peasants was officially instituted in 1950 (Hsu 1995). Consequently, equality increased on a material level in the agrarian sector. ...
... Under the commune, all private properties such as land, housing, and livestock were collectively owned. In 1958, urban communes were also established, equipped with public dining halls, child care centers, hospitals, schools, and banks (Hsu 1995). ...
... First, contracted land was for the first time permitted to be rented to tenants and laborers were allowed to be hired (Meisner 1996). Then, in 1987, the government further liberalized the sale of rights to land utilization by one household to another (Hsu 1995). The rapid expansion of rural industrial enterprises was an important part of the rural reforms. ...
Article
This thesis reviews China’s state policies, reforms, and public investment patterns—over the last fifty years—as a major cause of regional disparities in growth rates and income distribution. During the pre-reform period—under the central planning system—state policies and investments favored an urban industrial development strategy. Thus, under the pre-reform period income inequality was primarily defined in terms of urban-rural disparities. After 1978 and with the initiation of market-oriented reforms, public investment favored coastal areas as a means to develop an international export oriented economy. Disparities in growth and income shifted—the gap between coastal and interior areas primarily defined regional inequalities during the post-reform period. State reforms of the fiscal system after 1978 also impacted regional inequality. Poor interior provinces were no longer supported by the transfer system. Furthermore, their poor local economies often failed to provide a sufficient tax base to support local investment for much needed development projects. In an extensive review of relevant literature—this thesis found that targeted public investment in rural education, agricultural R&D, and rural infrastructure would have the most favorable impact on the interior region’s income and growth rates. In addition, reforms to the present household registration system or hukou system are needed. Currently, this system maintains strict restrictions on migration from rural areas to urban areas. The hukou system also links one’s access to social benefits to their place of residence. Thus, reforms to the present hukou system would allow a natural flow of labor from isolated and geographically disadvantaged areas to the thriving coastal industrial areas—in which migrants could have equal access to social benefits such as healthcare and education.
... Internal migration in China can be divided into permanent migration with hukou (household registration status) transfer and temporary migration without hukou transfer (floating migrants). The reason is that the policy of the hukou system has broadly categorized the individuals as "rural" or "urban" citizens in China (Adams & Gaetano, 2010;Chan, 2009;Gu, Liu, & Shen, 2020;Hu et al., 2002;Wang, 2005). According to the birthplaces, this residence register system could limit people's free migrating rights, leading to inequalities among individuals. ...
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The hukou transfer intentions (HTI), as an essential indicator of migration behaviors, is of great significance to the urbanization development and the citizenization process of China’s floating migrants. Although extant studies have devoted extensively to the influence factors of HTI, their spatial differences and multi-level determinants are comparatively under-researched. Based on the China Migrants Dynamic Survey (CMDS) data in 2016, we employed the spatial analysis method to discover a remarkable spatial disparity of HTI among cities of different sizes and found that HTI is affected by individual-level and city-level factors using a multilevel model. Besides city sizes and economic development levels, city amenity factors and housing prices also positively impact HTI. The cross-level interactions also indicate the greater preference of older, higher-educated, and wealthier floating migrants for larger cities than their counterparts, and the greater preference of older, higher-educated, and longer-term floating migrants for cities with higher housing prices than their counterparts, implying an accelerated agglomeration of talent with more social capital in leading cities. Several policy implications can be drawn from the discoveries of this study.
... deterioration of the urban environment) roles (Chang 1996;Zhu 2003). Other studies in the Chinese context have scrutinised different aspects of the floating population, such as their living conditions, age profile, gender differences, accommodation and employment conditions, settlement intention, and environmental impact (Shen 2002;Jiang 2006;Nielsen, Smyth, and Zhang 2006;Zhu 2007;Zhu and Chen 2009;Chen, Guo, and Wu 2011;Gu and Ma 2013;Hao and Tang 2018), including the political economy of their floating condition (Hu, Wang, and Zou 2002;Mobrand 2006). Thus, the studies on the Chinese floating population are largely concerned with the tracing of the migration pattern of these people from their roots and the concomitant implications. ...
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This study explores the livelihood pattern of the ‘floating population’ in metropolitan Dhaka, Bangladesh by using the Sustainable Livelihood (SL) framework. Data were collected by applying a mixed-method approach consisting of a semi-structured questionnaire survey, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and qualitative observations. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were used for presenting the findings of this study. The findings reveal that the survival of the floating population depends on a complex fusion of coping and adaptation measures based on their social relations, communal living, and mental strength. While their livelihood pattern is sustainable to some extent in the social context, it is economically, politically, and environmentally unsustainable. The study identifies the absence of appropriate institutional arrangements as a major constraint in ensuring the sustainability of their livelihood pattern. This study finally offers policy suggestions and advocates further scrutiny of this limitedly investigated subject in the research and policy domain.
... Given that the onechild policy was mandated in the late 1970s, people born after 1970s have less siblings as compared to those born in 1950s and 1960s. Moreover, compared to the cohorts before 1970s, people born after 1970s are more likely to leave their hometowns for job seeking in different cities or provinces when they reach their working age (Hu, Wang, & Zou, 2002;Wong et al., 2007). Under such circumstances, family caregivers born after 1970s are more likely to receive less support from families and experience higher stress and burden as compared to their older counterparts. ...
... Given that the onechild policy was mandated in the late 1970s, people born after 1970s have less siblings as compared to those born in 1950s and 1960s. Moreover, compared to the cohorts before 1970s, people born after 1970s are more likely to leave their hometowns for job seeking in different cities or provinces when they reach their working age (Hu, Wang, & Zou, 2002;Wong et al., 2007). Under such circumstances, family caregivers born after 1970s are more likely to receive less support from families and experience higher stress and burden as compared to their older counterparts. ...
... While the state intends to use the law to prevent large numbers of migrants from pouring into big cities, the law creates unintended consequences which enable migrants to thrive in the cities. In contrast, host governments in the coastal areas of China, in order to support the local town and village enterprises, have adopted more friendly and accommodating policies towards migrants, which have resulted in migrants becoming assimilated and organized according to the expectation of the host governments (Hu, 2002). ...
Article
This article argues that restrictive laws against migrants in Beijing, China have some unexpected consequences which turn out to be conducive to the survival and development of migrant businesses. First, restrictive and discriminatory legislation compels migrants to cooperate with locals, illegally or semi-legally, in order to get into the market. Locals are willing to provide migrants with protection in exchange for monetary interests. The cooperative relationship between migrants and locals renders the state and its agents unable or unwilling to strictly enforce the restrictive laws. Second, in response to discriminatory and restrictive regulations, migrants turn to informal rules and communal solidarity. Third, given the hostile legal environment, migrants tend to be ambivalent about settling down in big cities. As a result, they work harder and spend less. These factors enable migrants to survive the hostile legal environment and achieve considerable economic success. In turn, their economic success gives them more bargaining power to consolidate their cooperation with locals and gain a de facto existence in the city.
... We identify that the Olympic Games have reinforced the existing socio-economic and political inequalities, and our findings testify Eitzen's argument that "the powerless bear the burden" (Eitzen, 1996). In China, the sharp distinction between migrants and local citizens' right to the city is embedded in the backbone of the society (Li, 2006;Hu et al, 2002;Shin, 2011). Critics also point out that local governments are increasingly redefining urban citizenship and associated benefit entitlements, which given preference to locally registered permanent residents irrespective of their rural or urban status (Smart and Smart, 2001;Chan and Buckingham, 2008). ...
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Hosting of mega-events such as the Olympic Games tends to be accompanied by voluminous media coverage on the negative social impact of the Games, and the people in the affected areas are often considered to be one victim group sharing similar experiences. The research in this paper tries to unpack the heterogeneous groups in a particular sector of the housing market, and gain a better understanding of how the Olympic Games affects different resident groups. We take the example of the Beijing Summer Olympic Games and resort to empirical findings in an attempt to critically examine the experience of migrant tenants and Beijing citizens (landlords in particular) in 'villages-in-the-city' (known as cheongzhongcun) by delivering their own first-hand accounts of city-wide preparation for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympiad and the pervasive demolition threats to their neighbourhoods. The paper argues that the Beijing Summer Olympiad produced uneven, often exclusionary, Games experiences for a certain segment of urban population.
... As suggested by the 2000 census (State Statistical Bureau, 2001), rural migrant workers are: usually young, with a higher-than-average level of education than others from their place of emigration; there are more males than females; they tend to work in the private sector, holding jobs in factories and the service industries; they work longer hours, yet have lower household incomes than the urban residents, although their incomes are higher when compared with their fellow residents in the place of emigration (Table 3). Many migrant workers are temporary migrants and have 'dual occupations' (Hu, Wang & Zou, 2002). While they work in the fields during planting and harvest seasons, they take up jobs in the cities as restaurant employees, factory workers, construction workers or housemaids during the slack agricultural seasons. ...
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The rural migrant worker population in China is attracting more and more attention because of its magnitude and potential economic and social impact on Chinese society. While literature abounds in describing the demographic trends and economic impacts of rural to urban migration, very few articles have been written about the psychosocial impacts of migration on the lives of rural migrant workers in urban China. Drawing on the concept of marginalisation, this article describes the nature and characteristics of marginalised living experienced by migrant workers. More importantly, it examines the underlying policy issues contributing to such marginalised living. It is argued that the Hukou system (household registration system), the process of decentralisation and the obscure role of trade unions have contributed to the experience of marginalisation of rural migrant workers in urban cities in China. Implications for policy changes are also discussed.
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The Contradiction Between Population Size and Population Structure, and Strategic Adjustment in the Future
  • Dong Hou
  • Ming
  • Zhi Guo
  • Gang