We have launched E-mail Alert service,subscribers can receive the latest catalogues free of charge

You Are Here: Home > Focus

Rural Labor Migration: A Preliminary Study on Its Costs and Risks


Zhao Shukai, Development Research Center of the State Council

China's rural labor migration has attracted wide attention because of the economic and social problems brought about by such a move. In the course of labor migration, costs and risks borne by the society have been highly valued whereas those borne by individual laborers are largely neglected. This study attempts to provide a descriptive analysis for individual costs and risks during labor migration. First, individual laborers have to bear various costs in employment-related migration such as transportation fees, management fees imposed by relevant departments during migration, basic living costs, as well as taxes and charges paid by independent producers and managers. Second, migrators have to take huge risks in their life and occupational activities including loss of rights and interests and accidental injury during unemployment and employment as well as other social risks. Attention to and analysis of cost bearing and risk taking during rural labor migration not only lead to a more objective and critical understanding about farmers' migration and demands, but also help governments determine their targeted efforts in dealing with this problem which include the following aspects. 1. Since costs and risks do exist, employment-related immigration for migrators themselves is not an easy task but a serious and rational economic issue. 2. Transient labor flow should not be negated without exception but should be analyzed from different perspectives. 3. The most urgent demand raised by rural migrators is that farmers expect governments to help reduce their costs and risks.

Rural Labor Migration: A Preliminary Study on Its Costs and Risks