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Comparing inter-migration within the European Union and China: An initial exploration

Cheng, J and Young, C and Zhang, X and Owusu, K (2014) Comparing inter-migration within the European Union and China: An initial exploration. Migration Studies, 2. ISSN 2049-5838

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Abstract

Labour mobility has been extensively studied in China and the European Union (EU). However, there has been very little attempt to compare internal migration in the EU and China. This article provides an account of an initial exploratory quantitative comparison of EU and Chinese internal migration. The article first makes the case for comparing the EU and China in the context of the growing literature on international comparisons of migration. Problems of data and definition are then explored, and a review of the literature undertaken to identify which determinants could be used as the basis of comparative study. Mobility patterns are measured by comparing selected indicators including inequality, dispersion and effectiveness. The migration process is then measured in terms of the elasticities of internal migration responses to various contributing factors, among which spatial adjacency, distance, economic prospects, labour market, migrant networks, and immigration policy are filtered out and employed for the study. Gross migration flow models are calibrated to produce initial comparative results, using fixed-effect negative binomial regression methods and a variety of sources of data. The conclusion discusses how this initial exploration has helped identify some potential research directions for future work.

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