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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2018

Weidong Wang, Yongqing Dong, Renfu Luo, Yunli Bai and Linxiu Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of education in the labor market and to understand how returns to education change over time in rural China.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of education in the labor market and to understand how returns to education change over time in rural China.

Design/methodology/approach

Using nationally representative survey data from 2004 to 2015, this study provides insights on wage determination in the labor market and examines how the returns to education in rural China differ with time and educational endowment. This study applies ordinary least squares estimation and the Heckman selection model to estimate the returns to education.

Findings

The returns to education decreased during the observed years from more than 6 percent in 2004 to only about 3 percent in 2011, rising to nearly 4 percent in 2015. The overall trend is robust and observed within groups defined by education. Additionally, the returns to education vary greatly with educational endowment. Tertiary education has always maintained a high rate of returns at nearly 10 percent, while returns to senior high school education and below have gradually diminished.

Originality/value

The authors believe that the results will not only enrich studies on the returns to education in rural China, but also provide a basis for diagnosing the changes of rural labor market in the early twenty-first century.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Weiliang Su, Tor Eriksson and Linxiu Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of off-farm employment on the concentration of farmland via households’ land rental activities in rural China.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of off-farm employment on the concentration of farmland via households’ land rental activities in rural China.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses Probit and Tobit models to estimate the effect of off-farm employment on land rental activities. Furthermore, the paper compares the degree of land concentration between pre-renting and post-renting in terms of Gini coefficients of farmland ownership at village level.

Findings

The authors find that off-farm employment has a positive effect on the renting out farmland, and insignificant effect on renting in farmland. Moreover, off-farm employment intensifies the concentration of farmland from small farms toward big farms by renting activities.

Originality/value

The authors believe that the results will contribute positively to the assessment of the effect of off-farm employment on land concentration in the context of the urbanization process in China.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Linxiu Zhang, Yongqing Dong, Chengfang Liu and Yunli Bai

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the trend of off-farm employment in rural China over the past four decades since the reform and opening-up.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the trend of off-farm employment in rural China over the past four decades since the reform and opening-up.

Design/methodology/approach

Using two sets of panel survey data, the China National Rural Survey conducted in 2000 and 2008, and the China Rural Development Survey conducted in 2005, 2008, 2012 and 2016, this study offers a re-visit of China’s off-farm employment to give us the latest information about its evolution and whether rural labor markets have developed in a way that will allow them to facilitate the transformation of China’s economy more effectively. The evolution of off-farm employment is further examined through decomposition of types, destinations, industries, and population sub-groups as well as the change in the wage rate.

Findings

The data show the rapid increase in rural labor activities over the whole study period. Most notably, the authors findnd that a rapid rise in off-farm employment has continued even until after 2008 and into the mid-2010s, which is a time when some feared that macroeconomic conditions might keep rural residents on the farm or drive them back to the farm. In the disaggregation of labor market trends, the authors show that labor markets are acting consistently with an economy that is in transition from being dominated by agriculture to being dominated by other forms of production and with a population that is consistently becoming more urban.

Originality/value

The authors believe that the results will contribute positively to the exploration of answers to the question whether or not rural labor markets have developed in a way that will allow them to facilitate the transformation of China’s economy more effectively over the last four decades.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2020

Tonglong Zhang, Xiaowen Huang, Lina Zhang and Linxiu Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to assess the development of China's rural labor markets and the identification of the important factors that affect rural labor's off-farm…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the development of China's rural labor markets and the identification of the important factors that affect rural labor's off-farm employment and migration.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a set of long-term panel data, this paper makes a clear judgment on the trend of rural labor transfer. High-quality survey design makes it possible to examine the development of the rural labor market from multiple dimensions. Adding household fixed effects to the empirical model alleviates endogenous problems.

Findings

The authors find that the increasing trend toward off-farm employment, which is dominated by migration, has continued. There are some other important findings: (1). young male workers dominated off-farm employment, but the gap between groups continues to narrow; (2). the structure of employment is a good response to the economic transformation and (3). the quality of off-farm laborers, especially in terms of human capital, has also enhanced significantly and has continued to support off-farm employment and migration. These findings all indicate that the China's rural labor markets have been constantly improving in recent years, although there is still segmentation.

Originality/value

It is the first paper that uses a nationally representative survey data to address the development of rural labor market in the 21st century. With the help of a long-term panel data structure and by controlling the household-level fixed-effect, the authors obtained a deeper and more robust conclusion. Specifically, this article finds that whether it is for the off-farm transfer or the migration, the influence of labor age, gender, human capital and marital status is gradually weakening.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2021

Yunli Bai, Tianhao Zhou, Zhiyuan Ma and Linxiu Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of infrastructure on the income growth and poverty reduction of rural household in China by estimating the impact of road…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of infrastructure on the income growth and poverty reduction of rural household in China by estimating the impact of road accessibility on the extent of household off-farm employment and its heterogeneous effects among the groups with different income level and earning capacity.

Design/methodology/approach

Using nationally representative panel data collected in 100 villages about 2000 households across five provinces in 2005, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2019. This study adopts Tobit model with panel data, zero-inflated Poisson model and static nonbalanced panel model to yield consistent results.

Findings

We find that road accessibility generally has no effect on the number of off-farm laborers and duration of off-farm employment. However, road accessibility is not beneficial for the households in the low-income villages or with low educational attainment, but it benefits the households in the high-income villages by promoting local off-farm employment or with high educational attainment by increasing the duration of migrant off-farm employment.

Originality/value

This study identifies the heterogeneous effects of road accessibility on the extent of off-farm employment among rural households, which narrows the research gap and enriches the literature. The empirical findings imply that road accessibility widens the gap between rich and poor in off-farm employment, which is of great important to the alleviation of relative poverty after 2020 in China.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Linxiu Zhang, Yaojiang Shi and Scott Rozelle

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Abstract

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Yue Ma, Linxiu Zhang and Matthew Boswell

The purpose of this paper is to produce a high-quality measure of the nature of healthcare resources available in China’s Township Health Centers (THCs), paying particular…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to produce a high-quality measure of the nature of healthcare resources available in China’s Township Health Centers (THCs), paying particular attention to equity between high- and low-income areas.

Design/methodology/approach

This study makes use of data from a nearly nationally representative survey in rural China conducted by the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2011. The samples of towns were selected randomly from 25 counties located in five provinces from different regions of China. Data were collected through questionnaires and direct observation.

Findings

The THCs located in rich areas have higher levels of human resources than poor areas. THCs in rich areas also have more fixed assets than those in poor areas. In fact, even though the Chinese Ministry of Health mandates that all THCs have certain basic levels of medical equipment and facilities, many THCs in poor areas do not have them. The allocation of mandated equipment is unequal.

Practical implications

These findings suggest that China’s government should pay more attention to THCs located in poor areas, especially in light of new initiatives to improve health care in poor rural areas.

Originality/value

This is the first nationally representative study to employ rigorous empirics to investigate the extent of inequality in allocation of resources within THCs across China.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Aiqin Wang, Yaojiang Shi, Qiufeng Gao, Chengfang Liu, Linxiu Zhang, Natalie Johnson and Scott Rozelle

The purpose of this paper is to describe the trends in residential solid waste collection (RSWC) services in rural China over the past decade and analyze the determinants…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the trends in residential solid waste collection (RSWC) services in rural China over the past decade and analyze the determinants of these services using nationally representative data.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on panel data from three rounds of village-level surveys of 101 villages. The three surveys were conducted in 2005, 2008, and 2012 in five provinces. The authors used fixed-effected regression approach to analyze the determinants of these services.

Findings

The results show that in the aftermath of increased investment and policy attention at the national level, the proportion of villages providing RSWC services in rural China increased significantly from 1998 to 2011. However, half of all villages in rural China still did not provide RSWC services as of 2011. Based on econometrics analysis, the authors show that villages that are richer, more populous, and villages with more small hamlets are more likely to provide RSWC services.

Originality/value

The analyses are based on primary survey data and the first to quantify trends in waste management services in the beginning of the twentieth century. The authors believe that the results will have significant policy implications for China in its continuing quest for better waste management policy.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Qiran Zhao, Stephan Brosig, Renfu Luo, Linxiu Zhang, Ai Yue and Scott Rozelle

The need for a universal rural pension system has been heightened by demographic changes in rural China, including the rapid aging of the nation’s rural population and a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The need for a universal rural pension system has been heightened by demographic changes in rural China, including the rapid aging of the nation’s rural population and a dramatic decline in fertility. In response to these changes, China’s Government introduced the New Rural Social Pension Program (NRSPP) in 2009, a voluntary and highly subsidized pension scheme. The purpose of this paper is to assess the participation of rural farmers in the NRSPP. Furthermore, the authors examine whether the NRSPP affects the labor supply of the elderly population in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses household-level data from a sample of 2,020 households originating from a survey conducted by the authors in five provinces, 25 counties, and 101 villages in rural China. Using a probit model and conducting correlation analysis, the authors demonstrate the factors affecting the participation and the impact of NRSPP on labor supply of the rural elderly.

Findings

The results show there are several factors that are correlated with participation, such as specific policy variant in force in the respective household's province, the size of the pension payout from government, the age of sample individuals, and the value of household durable assets. Specifically, different characteristics of NRSPP policy implementation increase participation in China’s social pension program. The results suggest that the introduction of the NRSPP has not affected the labor supply of the rural elderly, in general, although it has reduced participation for the elderly who were in poor health.

Originality/value

Several previous studies have covered the NRSPP. However, all previous studies were based on case studies or just focused on a small region, and for this reason the results cannot reflect the populations and heterogeneity of rural areas. Therefore, a data set with a large sample size is used in this paper to provide a new perspective to fully understand the participation of NRSPP and its impacts on rural households. This paper will make an update contribution to the literature in the area of pension programs in China.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Ai Yue, Yaojiang Shi, Renfu Luo, Linxiu Zhang, Natalie Johnson, Scott Rozelle and Qiran Zhao

Although access to safe drinking water is one of the most important health-related infrastructure programs in the world, drinking water remains a large problem in China…

Abstract

Purpose

Although access to safe drinking water is one of the most important health-related infrastructure programs in the world, drinking water remains a large problem in China today, especially in rural areas. Despite increased government investment in water resource protection and management, there is still an absence of academic studies that are able to document what path the investment has taken and whether it has had any tangible impact. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of drinking water investment on drinking water in China.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors make use of nationally representative data from 2005 and 2012 to measure the impact of drinking water investment among 2,028 rural households in 101 villages across five provinces. Both ordinary least squares regression and probit regression are used to analyze the correlates and the impact of drinking water investment.

Findings

The authors demonstrate that water quality was likely a significant problem in 2004 but that China’s investment into drinking water appears to have resulted in initial improvements during the study period. The authors show that the most significant change came about in terms of hardware: villages that received more drinking water investment now have more piped tap water and more access to water treatment infrastructure (disinfecting and filtering facilities). High rates of rural resident satisfaction with drinking water suggest the effects of drinking water investment are being felt at the village level.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first empirical study on drinking water investment over time in rural China using nationally representative data.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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