Access to migration for rural households

Cynthia Kinnan*, Shing-Yi Wang, Yongxiang Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


This paper exploits a unique feature of China's history, the "sentdown youth" (SDY) program, to study the effects of access to internal migration. We show that temporary migration due to the SDY program created lasting inter-province links. We interact these links with two time-varying pull measures in potential destinations. Decades after the SDY program ended, increased access to migration in cities that sent SDY leads to higher rates of migration from provinces where those SDY temporarily resided. We find that improved access to migration leads to lower consumption volatility and lower asset holding. Furthermore, household production shifts into high-risk, high-return activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-119
Number of pages41
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


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