Determinants and effects of return migration in China


REN Yuan;SHI Wen


Institute of Population Research, Fudan University


This paper examines the factors associated with return migration using data from a survey on rural labor migration and urbanization in seven provincial regions in the central and western regions of China. Rural return migration is influenced, on the one hand, by employment status, income, and social security exclusion in cities, and on the other hand, by family life, family labor size and land acquisitions in the villages. Return migration is a combined result of “active return” and “passive return,” and is of individual and family decision making. The authors analyze the positive effects of return migration, resulting in Brain Gain based on migrants’ human capital accumulation during their migration. Returned migrants are more likely to engage in non-agricultural activities and entrepreneurial activities. Migration and return migration jointly help mobilize labor market and promote rural-urban development in China.


labor migrants;return migration;return migration effect;migration effect


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Total: 36 articles

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