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Rural Migrants, Urban Migrants and Local Workers in Shanghai: Segmented or Competitive Labour Markets?

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It has been documented widely that temporary migrants in Chinese cities are subject to labour market discrimination and urban labour markets are segmented across institutional barriers including the hukou system. Continued economic reform and policies, committed to more equal treatment of migrants and local dwellers, will generate greater competition between migrants and local workers. This article assesses whether the urban labour markets for migrants and local workers have remained segmented by examining the existence, and the extent, of wage discrimination against migrants. Our data, collected during recent fieldwork in Shanghai, revealed that migrants from rural and urban origins differed in their educational attainment and skills. We then compared wage patterns for rural migrants, urban migrants and local workers in Shanghai separately. These wage differentials reflected both market forces (rewards to differing productivity) and institutional factors (rewards to residence status or hukou), indicating that discrimination in the labour market still exists.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-12-07

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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