Peer Migration in China
NBER Working Paper No. 15671
We aim to quantify the role of social networks in job-related migration. With over 130 million rural labors migrating to the city each year, China is experiencing the largest internal migration in the human history. Using instrumental variables in the 2006 China Agricultural Census, we find that a 10-percentage-point increase in the migration rate of co-villagers raises one's migration probability by 7.27 percent points, an effect comparable to an increase of education by 7-8 years. Evidence suggests that most of this effect is driven by co-villagers helping each other in moving cost and job search at the destination.
This paper was revised on December 5, 2011