It's Not Just About the Money: Motivations for Youth Migration in Rural China
This study investigates the incentives for labor migration of youth in rural China using panel data from the Gansu Survey of Children and Families, a longitudinal study of youth in rural Gansu Province of China. We investigate the individual and altruistic economic motivations featured prominently in demographic and economic research on migration. However, we propose that the non-economic goal of personal development, a motivation suggested in numerous qualitative studies of women migrants in China and elsewhere, is also important, especially for young migrants. Analyzes indicate that, while young men and young women hold different motivations for migration, the desire for personal development is a common motivator for young migrants. Results suggest that non-economic incentives may play an important role in youth migration in rural China and that positioning in family structures shapes the susceptibility of individuals to migrate due to altruistic economic motivations.
Date Posted: 07 June 2013