It is widely recognized that migration has a great impact on households’ quality of life, and income is an important indicator for evaluating success of a migration (or mobility) strategy. Using data drawn from a family survey conducted in 2014, this paper analyzes the characteristics of four types of rural households: traditional agricultural family (TAF), mobility in a local small town (MST), semi-migrant family (SMF), and migrant in a large city (MLC). We isolated the impact of geographic and occupational mobility on the income of rural families. Findings reveal that there is a preference among rural households to live and work in a small town and that family income has a strong positive correlation with occupational change and family geographic mobility. The locations of family or work are shown to have important effects on family income, and moving to a much less developed city (small town) may be a way to increase income in an impoverished household.
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This research is funded by the National Social Science Fund of China (Award No. 16XRK002) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Award No. 41271155).
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Jiangsheng Chen received his Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Economics and Management in 2011. He is an associate professor at the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Northwest A&F University in China where he is leading two research programs focusing on Chinese rural–urban migration. His current research interests include environmental economics and rural–urban mobility of rural labor. His address: Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, P.R. China. E-mail: email@example.com
Caixian Cui received her Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Economics and Management in 2015; she is an associate professor at the College of Humanities at Northwest A&F University where she is leading two research programs focusing on China’s urbanization. Her interests include urbanization and culture in rural China. Her address: Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, P.R. China. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
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Chen, J., Cui, C. Large City or Small Town: an Empirical Analysis of the Effects of Migration Strategies of Rural Households on Income in China. Applied Research Quality Life 13, 211–228 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-017-9521-z
- Occupational change
- Geographic mobility
- Rural labor force
- Quality of life