Skill, Health, and Selectivity Disparity across Migration Types and Life Course: The Case of China

Yuying Tong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
Martin Piotrowski, University of Oklahoma

Using data from the China Health and Nutrition Study, this study uses a large sample (N = 28,529) of cases to examine factors affecting migration selection. We examine how health, education, and age have differing effects on migration across the life span and in different migration streams (i.e., temporary vs. permanent and rural vs. urban origin). We find that healthy people are more likely to migrate, but the effect is different across rural and urban migration origins, and is moderated by age among temporary migrants. We also find that skills selectivity, as measured by education, is different between permanent and temporary migrations, but not between rural and urban areas. Our results provide a caution to researchers who assume that migrants are always positively selected without considering the risks and rewards to skills and health inherent in different migration streams.

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Presented in Session 25: Immigrant Origin Areas: Issues and Impacts