[Research Seminar] IFLAME: “The demography of the great migration in China” R. GUO – Wuhan University

Speakers: Rufei GUO
Wuhan University

Date and Location – Thursday September 9th 2021 from 12:00 to 13:30 in E002 (Lille campus) and on Zoom



Differential population growths are fundamental drivers of migration. Surprisingly little empirical research probe in the demography of migration. We are the first to systematically analyze the demography of China’s internal migration in 1996—2015.

Specifically, we construct bilateral migration flows across Chinese prefectures and exploit the impact of over-time variations in cohort sizes induced by the Great Famine and China’s birth-control policies. We find asymmetric impacts of “push” and “pull” demographic factors in determining cross-prefecture migration: while a growth of rural cohort sizes in the origin prefectures pushes out migrants, a decline of urban cohort sizes in the destination prefectures pulls in migrants.

The push and pull effects of cohort sizes are magnified when origin and destination prefectures are physically and socially connected. We also explore the demographic impacts by skills of migrants, directions of flow, and reasons of migration.