Geographic structure of migrant labor market in China: A case study of four city-regions in Fujian

  • Li Yu University of Lethbridge
  • Wei Xu University of Lethbridge
  • Yu Zhu Fujian Normal University
  • Liyue Lin Fujian Normal University
Keywords: migrant labour market, regional development, human capital, social network, hukou


This study attempts to examine how local migrant labour markets behave differently in regions with varying development levels and local economic characteristics, based on a 2009 migrant survey conducted in four case cities in Fujian province, China. The study reveals that earnings characteristics and the role of earnings determents vary greatly across geographic regions. Specifically, in the economically more developed region, the return to human capital is higher, the effect of primitive social networks is lower, and the effect of institutional and cultural barriers is weaker.