Researchers: Tao Liu, Guangzhong Cao; Sichuang Chen; Yunxia Zhuo; Jiachun Chen; Meng Yang; Dezheng Wang
Description of work
China’s rapid urbanization over the past four decades has been achieved predominantly by the massive inter-regional rural-to-urban migration. This project aims to understand the dynamics of China’s internal migration and the “Chinese model” of urbanization by developing a socio-spatial framework and applying it to multi-scalar empirical investigations. The research scope include migration, its urbanization effects, and application to policy making. Empirical studies are conducted on both regional and individual levels. Regional analysis on national and city levels, individual analysis concerning personal, household, and social relations, and the interactive effects of these two sets will be the fundamental basis of our research conclusions. Case studies at metropolitan level are conducted in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region (BTH) and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) with special focus on municipalities of Beijing, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. Five sets of data are collected to support our research, including aggregated census data, socioeconomic statistics, individual-level census and survey data, geographical information, and policy documents. Multiple types of statistical models, spatial visualization and analysis, and text analysis of policy documents will be used in this project.
The expected outputs include a biannual young scholar workshop series, a jointly organized conference, journal papers and monographs, a list of policy recommendation and consultation reports, as well as a project report. This project will contribute to the academic literature by (1) situating China’s massive internal migration into the great process of national urbanization and interpret the patterns and problems of urbanization by emphasizing the critical role played by migrants, (2) employing a cross-level empirical approach that emphasize the interactive effects of individual and city-level factors, and (3) assessing the role of central and local policies in making migration decision and shaping urbanization landscape. Young scholar development, domestic and international collaboration, and social and policy impacts are equally important for the achievement of this project.
Aims and research questions
This project aims to understand the dynamics of China’s internal migration and urbanization by developing a socio-spatial framework and applying it to multi-scalar empirical investigations. Four research questions will be addressed.
- What are the temporal, spatial and structural trends of China’s rural-to-urban migration at various levels?
- How could the trends and landscape of migration be explained by the interaction between individual-level and city-level factors?
- How has the massive internal migration shaped the Chinese model of urbanization?
- How has the individual migration decision making and regional migration dynamics been influenced by central and local policies, and how can academic research outputs be used to improve policy making and implementation?