Rural Labor Migration, Discrimination, and the New Dual Labor Market in China

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Emerging Asian economies need to tackle the new challenges to macroeconomic and financial stability posed by financial globalization. It offers a comprehensive and useful guide for students, academics, and policymakers interested in the current state and future prospects of Asian financial systems. In the wake of the global financial crisis, leading industrialized countries have managed to show only a gradual recovery, while East Asian economies have surged ahead.

In particular, China achieved growth in excess of 10 per cent in and is expected to continue growing at a rapid pace. It appears that in the coming years, East Asia will play an even greater role as a growth center leading global economic expansion. Following the Asian currency crisis of - 98, consumption and investment in the region decreased considerably, and East Asian economies recovered on the strength of exports.

Presently, however, amid a less-than-robust recovery in the US and Europe, the sustainability of East Asia's reliance on export-led growth has been called into question. The region's transition to growth based on a balance of foreign and domestic demand is important for both building a stronger foundation for sustainable growth and buttressing global economic expansion. Moreover, the rebalancing of demand in East Asia holds the key to rectifying global current account imbalances - the disadvantage of uneven international capital flows.


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This unique volume illuminates policy issues involved in the efforts to promote the rebalancing of demand in East Asia. Careful studies in history reveal that the experience of moving up the ladder of economic growth has varied among countries. This book explores 1 the current state of Asian economies and 2 the conditions or policy counter-measures that lead to higher income levels under changing external circumstances.

This is illustrated through case studies on five Asian economies, with emphasis on their structural problems. It also aims to paint a comprehensive picture of necessary policies, which will encourage Asian countries to move up the ladder of growth.

China's Employment Situation and Policies ()

The purpose of this book is to empirically analyse the multifaceted nature of financial linkages in East Asia and to discuss the key policy challenges faced by the region's economies. Although the emphasis is placed on East Asia, some of the chapters cover a broader area of countries depending on the aim of the study. This movement of population is in essence a labor market phenomenon. From the beginning of European settlement in what became the United States, labor markets were characterized by the scarcity of labor in relation to abundant land and natural resources.

Labor scarcity raised labor productivity and enabled ordinary Americans to enjoy a higher standard of living than comparable Europeans. Counterbalancing these inducements to migration, however, were the high costs of travel across the Atlantic and the significant risks posed by settlement in frontier regions. Over time, technological changes lowered the costs of communication and transportation.

Chinese Immigrants in the United States

But exploiting these advantages required the parallel development of new labor market institutions. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a variety of labor market institutions developed to facilitate the movement of labor in response to the opportunities created by American factor proportions. While some immigrants migrated on their own, the majority of immigrants were either indentured servants or African slaves.

Indentured servitude was introduced by the Virginia Company in and appears to have arisen from a combination of the terms of two other types of labor contract widely used in England at the time: service in husbandry and apprenticeship Galenson Redemptioners bore increased risk because they could not predict in advance what terms they might be able to negotiate for their labor, but presumably they did so because of other benefits, such as the opportunity to choose their own master, and to select where they would be employed.

Although data on immigration for the colonial period are scattered and incomplete a number of scholars have estimated that between half and three quarters of European immigrants arriving in the colonies came as indentured or redemptioner servants.

Rural-Urban Migration and the Role of Adult Education in China's Social Integration

Using data for the end of the colonial period Grubb b found that close to three-quarters of English immigrants to Pennsylvania and nearly 60 percent of German immigrants arrived as servants. A number of scholars have examined the terms of indenture and redemptioner contracts in some detail see, e. They find that consistent with the existence of a well-functioning market, the terms of service varied in response to differences in individual productivity, employment conditions, and the balance of supply and demand in different locations. The other major source of labor for the colonies was the forced migration of African slaves.

Slavery had been introduced in the West Indies at an early date, but it was not until the late seventeenth century that significant numbers of slaves began to be imported into the mainland colonies. From to the proportion of blacks in the Chesapeake region grew from 13 percent to around 40 percent. In South Carolina and Georgia, the black share of the population climbed from 18 percent to 41 percent in the same period McCusker and Menard, , p. Galenson explains the transition from indentured European to enslaved African labor as the result of shifts in supply and demand conditions in England and the trans-Atlantic slave market.

Conditions in Europe improved after , reducing the supply of indentured servants, while at the same time increased competition in the slave trade was lowering the price of slaves Dunn Like slaves, indentured servants were unfree, and ownership of their labor could be freely transferred from one owner to another. Unlike slaves, however, they could look forward to eventually becoming free Morgan Over time a marked regional division in labor market institutions emerged in colonial America.

The use of slaves was concentrated in the Chesapeake and Lower South, where the presence of staple export crops rice, indigo and tobacco provided economic rewards for expanding the scale of cultivation beyond the size achievable with family labor. European immigrants primarily indentured servants tended to concentrate in the Chesapeake and Middle Colonies, where servants could expect to find the greatest opportunities to enter agriculture once they had completed their term of service. While New England was able to support self-sufficient farmers, its climate and soil were not conducive to the expansion of commercial agriculture, with the result that it attracted relatively few slaves, indentured servants, or free immigrants.

These patterns are illustrated in Table 1, which summarizes the composition and destinations of English emigrants in the years to American independence marks a turning point in the development of labor market institutions. In Congress prohibited the importation of slaves. Meanwhile, the use of indentured servitude to finance the migration of European immigrants fell into disuse. As a result, most subsequent migration was at least nominally free migration.

The high cost of migration and the economic uncertainties of the new nation help to explain the relatively low level of immigration in the early years of the nineteenth century. But as the costs of transportation fell, the volume of immigration rose dramatically over the course of the century. Transportation costs were of course only one of the obstacles to international population movements.

At least as important were problems of communication. Potential migrants might know in a general way that the United States offered greater economic opportunities than were available at home, but acting on this information required the development of labor market institutions that could effectively link job-seekers with employers. As Rosenbloom , ch. Many immigrants were following in the footsteps of friends or relatives already in the United States.

Often these initial pioneers provided material assistance—helping to purchase ship and train tickets, providing housing—as well as information. Numerous studies of specific migration streams have documented the role of a small group of initial migrants in facilitating subsequent migration for example, Barton ; Kamphoefner ; Gjerde At a more aggregate level, settlement patterns confirm the tendency of immigrants from different countries to concentrate in different cities Ward , p. Informal word-of-mouth communication was an effective labor market institution because it served both employers and job-seekers.

For job-seekers the recommendations of friends and relatives were more reliable than those of third parties and often came with additional assistance. For employers the recommendations of current employees served as a kind of screening mechanism, since their employees were unlikely to encourage the immigration of unreliable workers.

While chain migration can explain a quantitatively large part of the redistribution of labor in the nineteenth century it is still necessary to explain how these chains came into existence in the first place. Chain migration always coexisted with another set of more formal labor market institutions that grew up largely to serve employers who could not rely on their existing labor force to recruit new hires such as railroad construction companies.

Labor agents, often themselves immigrants, acted as intermediaries between these employers and job-seekers, providing labor market information and frequently acting as translators for immigrants who could not speak English. Steamship companies operating between Europe and the United States also employed agents to help recruit potential migrants Rosenbloom , ch. By the s networks of labor agents along with boarding houses serving immigrants and other similar support networks were well established in New York, Boston, and other major immigrant destinations.

The services of these agents were well documented in published guides and most Europeans considering immigration must have known that they could turn to these commercial intermediaries if they lacked friends and family to guide them. After some time working in America these immigrants, if they were successful, would find steadier employment and begin to direct subsequent migration, thus establishing a new link in the stream of chain migration. The economic impacts of immigration are theoretically ambiguous.

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Increased labor supply, by itself, would tend to lower wages—benefiting employers and hurting workers. But because immigrants are also consumers, the resulting increase in demand for goods and services will increase the demand for labor, partially offsetting the depressing effect of immigration on wages. As long as the labor to capital ratio rises, however, immigration will necessarily lower wages. But if, as was true in the late nineteenth century, foreign lending follows foreign labor, then there may be no negative impact on wages Carter and Sutch Whatever the theoretical considerations, however, immigration became an increasingly controversial political issue during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

While employers and some immigrant groups supported continued immigration, there was a growing nativist sentiment among other segments of the population. Anti-immigrant sentiments appear to have arisen out of a mix of perceived economic effects and concern about the implications of the ethnic, religious and cultural differences between immigrants and the native born. In , Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act.


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Subsequent legislative efforts to impose further restrictions on immigration passed Congress but foundered on presidential vetoes. The balance of political forces shifted, however, in the wake of World War I. In a literacy requirement was imposed for the first time, and in an Emergency Quota Act was passed Goldin With the passage of the Emergency Quota Act in and subsequent legislation culminating in the National Origins Act, the volume of immigration dropped sharply.

Since this time international migration into the United States has been controlled to varying degrees by legal restrictions.

Variations in the rules have produced variations in the volume of legal immigration. Meanwhile the persistence of large wage gaps between the United States and Mexico and other developing countries has encouraged a substantial volume of illegal immigration. It remains the case, however, that most of this migration—both legal and illegal—continues to be directed by chains of friends and relatives.

Workers in India, China, and elsewhere possessing technical skills can now provide services such as data entry or technical support by phone and over the internet.

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While the novelty of this phenomenon has attracted considerable attention, the actual volume of jobs moved off-shore remains limited, and there are important obstacles to overcome before more jobs can be carried out remotely Edwards At the same time that American economic development created international imbalances between labor supply and demand it also created internal disequilibrium. Fertile land and abundant natural resources drew population toward less densely settled regions in the West. Over the course of the century, advances in transportation technologies lowered the cost of shipping goods from interior regions, vastly expanding the area available for settlement.

Meanwhile transportation advances and technological innovations encouraged the growth of manufacturing and fueled increased urbanization. The movement of population and economic activity from the Eastern Seaboard into the interior of the continent and from rural to urban areas in response to these incentives is an important element of U.

Migration in China

In the pre-Civil War era, the labor market response to frontier expansion differed substantially between North and South, with profound effects on patterns of settlement and regional development. Much of the cost of migration is a result of the need to gather information about opportunities in potential destinations. In the South, plantation owners could spread these costs over a relatively large number of potential migrants—i. Plantations were also relatively self-sufficient, requiring little urban or commercial infrastructure to make them economically viable.

Moreover, the existence of well-established markets for slaves allowed western planters to expand their labor force by purchasing additional labor from eastern plantations. In the North, on the other hand, migration took place through the relocation of small, family farms. Consequently the task of mobilizing labor fell to promoters who bought up large tracts of land at low prices and then subdivided them into individual lots.

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