The Great Migration

The Great Migration

Rural–Urban Migration in China and Indonesia

Edited by Xin Meng, Chris Manning, Li Shi and Tadjuddin Nur Effendi

This fascinating study compares and contrasts the immense internal migration movements in China and Indonesia. Over the next two decades, approximately two-thirds of the rural labour force is expected to migrate, transforming their respective societies from primarily rural to urban based.

Chapter 3: Jobs, Working Hours and Remuneration Packages for Migrant and Urban Workers

Paul Frijters, Leng Lee and Xin Meng

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian economics, asian geography, asian urban and regional studies, development studies, asian development, development economics, migration, economics and finance, asian economics, development economics, geography, human geography, social policy and sociology, migration, urban and regional studies, migration, urban studies


Paul Frijters, Leng Lee and Xin Meng 1 INTRODUCTION China is currently undergoing a transformation from an agricultural society to a modem society dominated by industry and services. By 2006, roughly 130 million of China's 900 million rural workers had shifted from the countryside to the city (NBS 2007). In some cities, rural-to-urban migrant workers already account for half, or even two-thirds, of the total labour force. How do these migrant workers fare in city labour markets relative to their urban counterparts? Are they competing in the same labour market? These are important policy issues, as well as being of academic interest. In the past, migrant workers faced discrimination with regard to the types of jobs they were allowed to take and the compensation packages they received (Meng and Zhang 2001). The Chinese government has moved to eliminate such discrimination but is facing resistance from local governments and employers. Local governments are expected to protect the employment and earnings of local people-not migrants. To achieve this goal, they may introduce measures that make it more difficult for migrant workers to compete with the local workforce, or at least put migrants in a position where they have limited power to bargain for better conditions. The main priority of employers, meanwhile, is to minimize labour costs. As long as they are able to avoid serious scrutiny from the local government, they may underpay migrants, fail to make mandatory contributions on their behalf or force them to work long hours. This chapter documents...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information