Research Statement

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Research field

Urban Economics, Demographic Economics, Applied Microeconomics.

Job Market Paper

How will hukou reform change the city system in China?

This paper studies the impact of recent hukou reform on living-location choices of migrants in China. Hukou is the identification location system, which connects to different levels of social welfare corresponding to different locations for its holders, due to the historical or political reasons. Before the reform, the old hukou system strictly controlled the migration both across cities and between urban and rural areas. In 2014, the government introduced the hukou reform to try to encourage rural migrants to move to medium and small cities but keeping the restrictions in large cities or municipalities. This paper is the first to apply a novel dataset, the China Spatial Administrative Unit Coding System (or, CN-SAUCS) from my previous paper. The dataset is the crosswalks of ZIP codes with GIS data which are village-level administrative divisions from three different sources. The sources are Webservices of various commercial Maps API, the identifiers system of administrative divisions of National Bureau of Statistics of China and the 2010 township-level/county-level census data. The paper uses a discrete choice model to explain the relationship between hukou reform and the choice of residential regions. Many provinces experienced the hukou reform experiments before 2014. I used the micro survey data of 2010 Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) program provided by Renmin University to capture the choices of individual residents to explain the effect of hukou reform on migration choices with different levels of regions in China. After estimating the model, I perform a counterfactual analysis involving by changing the reform status of different types of destinations.