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Article

How Long Do Return Migrants Stay in Their Home Counties? Trends and Causes

by 1, 1,2,* and 1,3
1
Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
3
International Ecosystem Management Partnership, United Nations Environment Programme, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4153; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114153
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 27 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Population and Social Sustainability)
Return migration is an important form of rural labor mobility in China, and it has been given growing concern recently by governments in the background of rural revitalization. However, research covering the duration of stay in migrants’ home counties, a basic question of labor mobility and a precondition for policy making, is far from enough. The aim of this paper is to analyze the period of return for these migrants based on employment history data by tracking their mobility among rural laborers from 1998 to 2015. The data was collected from a randomized, nationally representative sample of 100 rural villages in five provinces of China. We find that only 22.3 percent of migrants returned from 1998 to 2015, and most return migrants still remained in their home counties as of 2015. Using the OLS, Tobit, and Heckman sample selection models, the results show that return migrants who are old, more educated, unmarried, and with children are more likely to stay longer in their home counties. From a development perspective, return migrants are expected to play an important role in the process of rural revitalization. View Full-Text
Keywords: return migration; trends; labor mobility; rural China return migration; trends; labor mobility; rural China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bai, Y.; Wang, W.; Zhang, L. How Long Do Return Migrants Stay in Their Home Counties? Trends and Causes. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4153. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114153

AMA Style

Bai Y, Wang W, Zhang L. How Long Do Return Migrants Stay in Their Home Counties? Trends and Causes. Sustainability. 2018; 10(11):4153. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114153

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bai, Yunli, Weidong Wang, and Linxiu Zhang. 2018. "How Long Do Return Migrants Stay in Their Home Counties? Trends and Causes" Sustainability 10, no. 11: 4153. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114153

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