Next Article in Journal
Development of a Prototype Model to Establish an Economic Earthwork Plan that Includes the Selection of a Dump Site/Borrow Pit
Next Article in Special Issue
Financial Inclusion, Entry Barriers, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from China
Previous Article in Journal
Control of the Air Supply Subsystem in a PEMFC with Balance of Plant Simulation
Previous Article in Special Issue
Beyond Apprenticeship: Knowledge Brokers and Sustainability of Apprentice-Based Clusters
Article Menu
Issue 1 (January) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 72;

Sustaining Regional Advantages in Manufacturing: Skill Accumulation of Rural–Urban Migrant Workers in the Coastal Area of China

Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
College of Resources Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
Rizhao Transportation Bureau of Shandong, Rizhao 276800, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Hongbo Liu, Sizhong Sun and Iain Gordon
Received: 12 September 2016 / Revised: 13 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 7 January 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [793 KB, uploaded 7 January 2017]   |  


Extant research pays little attention to unorganized migrant workers’ skill accumulation/upgrading from the perspective of the labor supply. This paper takes China as an example to explore the factors influencing the skill accumulation of rural–urban migrant workers (RUMWs), with the purpose of discovering how to sustain or reshape regional competitive advantages by improving RUMWs’ skill accumulation. Structured questionnaire surveys were adopted for data collection in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province and Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province located in the Yangtze River Delta in eastern China. In total, 700 questionnaires were issued and 491 effective questionnaires were recovered. It takes the perspective of individual laborers, with special regard to the effects of localization on the laborers’ skill accumulation within the context of globalization. It adopts a broad viewpoint including intra-firm skill-biased strategy (as a response to intense competition), inter-firm relationships, and the accessibility of local non-firm organizations. The findings indicate that firms’ skill preference, which impacts employees’ skills and innovation ability and stimulates them to learn with initiative, have a significant influence on RUMWs’ skill accumulation. In terms of collective efficiency based on the co-competitive relationship between local firms, the more intensive interactions are, the more opportunities RUMWs are afforded for skill accumulation. The accessibility of local institutions and favorable policies also benefit RUMWs’ skill accumulation. In addition, the place itself, as a synthesized space of a firm’s internal labor-management relations and inter-organizational relations, also exerts an influence on and causes regional differences in RUMWs’ skill accumulation. View Full-Text
Keywords: skill accumulation; regional advantages; rural–urban migrant workers; industrial clusters skill accumulation; regional advantages; rural–urban migrant workers; industrial clusters

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhu, H.; Feng, J.; Wang, M.; Xu, F. Sustaining Regional Advantages in Manufacturing: Skill Accumulation of Rural–Urban Migrant Workers in the Coastal Area of China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 72.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top