The influence of hukou and college education in China’s labour market

Yang Xiao, Yanjie Bian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This paper examines the impact of hukou and college education on job placement and wage attainment for Chinese rural migrant workers in the cities. The analysis of the 2010 Chinese General Social Survey shows that when rural-born individuals gain both urban hukou and college education, they enjoy equal job-sector placement and they earn significantly higher wages than the college-educated locals. But in the absence of a rural-to-urban hukou transfer, migrants have fewer opportunities to go to college than local peers, and even college education does not gain a migrant an equal chance of working in the state sector or receiving equal earnings. A major contribution of this study is to suggest a nine-category analytic scheme, which takes into account how education, hukou and type of workplace affect one another in jointly influencing labour market inequality between rural migrants and urbanite workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1504-1524
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © Urban Studies Journal Limited 2017.


  • career sequence
  • education
  • hukou
  • job placement
  • wage income


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