Retirement Effects on Internal Chinese Migration

A new GLO Discussion Paper finds that retirement increases the probability of migration strongly.

The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.

GLO Discussion Paper No. 463, 2020

The Retirement Migration Puzzle in ChinaDownload PDF
Chen, Simiao & Jin, Zhangfeng & Prettner, Klaus

GLO Fellows Klaus Prettner & Zhangfeng Jin

Author Abstract: We examine whether and how retirement affects migration decisions in China. Using a regression discontinuity (RD) design approach combined with a nationally representative sample of 228,855 adults aged between 40 and 75, we find that retirement increases the probability of migration by 12.9 percentage points. Approximately 38% of the total migration effects can be attributed to inter-temporal substitution (delayed migration). Retirement-induced migrants are lower-educated and have restricted access to social security. Household-level migration decisions can reconcile different migration responses across gender. Retirees migrate for risk sharing and family protection mechnisms, reducing market production of their families in the receiving households.

GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS,  EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.


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