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11. Interconnections among Gender,Work, and Migration -Evidence from Zhejiang Province

图书名称:Re-Drawing Boundaries: Work, Households, and Gender in China
图书作者:Barbara Entwisle and Gail E. Henderson    ISBN:
出版社:Berkeley: University of California Press    出版日期:2000年

Xiushi Yang

Recent economic growth in China has been accompanied by increasing rural-urban migration, which has provided not only a timely outlet for rural surplus labor but also the opportunity for many peasants to move away from subsistence farming and to achieve upward mobility. Being highly selective, rural-urban migration in turn exerts an impact on the labor force profiles in places of rural origin. While a considerable literature has emerged in recent years dealing with internal migration in China (e.g., A. Goldstein and S. Goldstein 1996; S. Goldstein and A. Goldstein 1985, 1991; Zai Liang and White 1996; Q. Yang and Guo 1996; X. Yang 1993, 1994), little research has specifically addressed the role of gender in migration and economic growth. Do men and women participate equally in migration? Do men and women migrate for the same reasons and experience similar changes in their economic activities? Does rural out-migration lead to feminization of agricultural production, as has been recently portrayed in the media? This chapter addresses these questions, with a particular focus on de facto or unofficial migration, defined as migration that involves no change in migrants' official household registration (hukou), but nonetheless lasts more than one year in duration. The migrant households described in chapter 10 by Zhang fit this description, for example. Using Zhejiang province as a case study, this analysis seeks to examine specifically: (1) gender differences in migration propensity, (2) differences in characteristics of male and female migrants as compared to their nonmigrant counterparts, and (3) the connection between rural out-migration and female participation in agricultural production. Throughout the analysis, comparison will also be made to de jure or official migration, defined as migration accompanied by a change in official household registration.

BACKGROUND

Until recently, the Chinese government controlled not only macrolevel production and exchange but also microlevel consumption, employment, and residence. Despite large differences in standard of living between rural and urban areas, rural-urban official migration was effectively controlled through the household registration (hukou) system and other administrative measures (Banister 1987; Christiansen 1992; S. Goldstein and A. Goldstein 1985, 1990; X. Yang 1993). In China, everyone is born with one of two types of official household registration: agricultural or nonagricultural. The type of household registration determines one's eligibility for and access to government provision of social services and benefits. For either type of household registration, one must be officially registered as a resident to receive these services and benefits.

Changes in official residence across administrative boundaries have been strictly controlled by local governments. This does not mean, however, that people could not move. In fact, one could move anywhere one wished. But without government approval, migrants could not register at the new location; and without this official local registration, they could not find a job, buy food and other daily necessities, or have access to most social services in the new place of residence. Thus, while people could move freely, with no market alternatives for obtaining employment and social services it was very difficult for them to survive economically and socially unless their move was approved by the local government. By attaching employment and social services to local residence registration, the government successfully controlled official migration through approval or denial of a change in household registration.

The significance of the household registration and its role in regulating migration have been reduced considerably, however, by changes in labor force dynamics and market conditions associated with the economic reforms, and by recent changes in employment and residence policies. Since 1978, when the economic reforms were first initiated, more relaxed employment practices have resulted in an increasingly differentiated employment structure, which places more of the labor force outside the direct control of the government (Walder 1984; Wilson 1990). This increasing employment in small-scale collective units and other informal sectors is, however, often characterized by little job security, few employment benefits, and poor working conditions. Even state firms have increasingly turned to temporary workers, offering no job security and very limited employment benefits, as they attempt to cut costs (Solinger 1995b). Like employment in small collective units and informal sectors, temporary jobs in state firms are largely rejected by urban youth, forcing many firms to look for migrant workers to fill their vacancies. Concurrently, reforms in rural areas have dismantled a considerable portion of government control over agricultural production and substituted individual incentives and decision making. Under the “household responsibility” system, land is allocated to and cultivated by individual households under contract; nonagricultural activities, including cottage industries, are promoted; and peasants are allowed to keep the sideline products as well as the balance of basic agricultural production under the contract. These policy changes have offered rural peasants a greater incentive to maximize their production. More efficient household-based organization of agriculture and sideline production has resulted in hundreds of millions of rural surplus laborers looking for nonagricultural alternatives (Taylor 1988; Xie Shusen and Bing Chen 1990; L. Yang 1992).

Thus the combination of demand for workers in some urban sectors and available rural surplus labor has led many work units to hire migrant workers from rural areas (Solinger 1995b). In addition, a pent-up demand for services of all kinds in urban areas provides countless self-employment opportunities in retail trade, restaurant, and other personal services. It is probably not a coincidence, therefore, that a series of government regulations now sanction the hiring of temporary workers based on employers' needs and workers' qualifications rather than on whether they have an urban household registration (Wilson 1990). Similar policies have also been implemented to allow rural peasants to enter commercial channels and work in urban places through individual or collective contracts, or simply selfemployment. Furthermore, the government started relaxing its control over urban residence in the late 1980s, allowing rural peasants with no official urban residence registration to live in urban places as temporary residents, provided they meet their own employment, housing, and other service needs. Zhejiangcun, described in chapter 10 by Zhang, is one such community.

Meanwhile, the burgeoning urban free markets, together with reforms and relaxation of government control over education and other social services, have enabled people to buy virtually all daily consumer goods and to obtain education and most social services. This has provided a timely market alternative to government provision of services, thereby allowing migrants to live outside the government's ration system tied to official residence registration (X. Yang 1993). For the first time in decades, the legal and market barriers to living in cities without an official household registration have been considerably reduced. Not surprisingly, rural-urban migration that involves no change in migrants' official residence registration has increased rapidly.

While both men and women could participate in the process and reap the benefits, recent development in China has shown mixed impact on women's participation in labor force and internal migration. On the one hand, the market transition has weakened the institutional support for gender equality in the workplace. Increasingly governed by market forces and driven by cost-saving and profit-making calculations, many private enterprises as well as state-owned firms have shown a reluctance in hiring women. Measures are being taken to further reduce female employees' job tenure by granting long maternity leaves and by encouraging their early retirement (Wilson 1990). On the other hand, the rapid expansion of retail trade and service sectors may provide a unique opportunity for increasing female participation in rural-urban migration and off-farm employment. As an integral part of development, migration is not only a means for realizing the potential of female contribution to economic development, but it can also act as a mechanism for changing the social and cultural norms and values that define women's roles and activities (Bilsborrow and United Nations Secretariat 1993). Therefore, the participation of women in rural-urban migration and the changes—positive or negative—that women migrants experience after migration play a critical role for future socioeconomic development in China. Equally important are changes at the place of origin and the issue of feminization of agricultural production as a result of maledominated rural out-migration. Unfortunately, as in many other developing countries (e.g., Bilsborrow 1993; Pedraza 1991), the role of women in migration has been largely neglected in China. The analysis that follows attempts to fill the gap by using census data from one province.

RESEARCH SETTING AND DATA

Zhejiang province lies along China's east coast, bordering Shanghai to the south. Because of the lack of major government investment, Zhejiang's economic performance fell behind the national average during the pre-reform era. Between 1949 and 1978, the gross domestic product (GDP) increased 9.7 percent annually nationwide, but it grew only 7.6 percent annually in Zhejiang. By 1978, the per capita GDP averaged 375 yuan nationwide, but it was only 331 yuan in Zhejiang (State Statistical Bureau 1993; Zhejiang Provincial Statistical Bureau 1993). Since 1978, thanks to the new economic policies associated with economic reforms, Zhejiang's economic growth has greatly exceeded the national average. Between 1978 and 1992, while the GDP grew 14.6 percent annually for the country as a whole, it expanded 17.8 percent annually in Zhejiang. By 1992, the per capita GDP reached 2,850 yuan in Zhejiang compared to the national average of 2,051 yuan (State Statistical Bureau 1993; Zhejiang Provincial Statistical Bureau 1993). During the same period, the rural economy grew at a phenomenal rate of 23.9 percent and 34.5 percent annually for rural total and rural industrial output in Zhejiang, compared to 19.7 percent and 28.1 percent, respectively, for the nation as a whole. By 1992, the per capita net income of Zhejiang's rural population reached 1,359 yuan, the third highest in the country, next only to the two municipalities of Shanghai (2,225 yuan ) and Beijing (1,572 yuan ).

Despite its above-average economic growth since 1978, Zhejiang is characterized by a high population density, scarce natural resources, and insufficient capital investment (Wang Sijun 1994). This, together with the lack of a strong urban economy, has made it difficult to absorb rural surplus labor within the province, forcing many peasants to search for economic opportunities in other provinces. Furthermore, the patterns of rural economic development in Zhejiang province promote interprovincial migration (X. Yang 1996). Since 1978 the rapid growth of small rural industries and individual businesses in commerce, handicrafts, and other services has been the driving force of the rural economy and the main source of rural nonagricultural employment. Although some rural industries are under contract by larger industries within the planned economy, most of them operate outside the government economic plan. Consequently, they depend upon markets to acquire all their raw materials and energy inputs. Given Zhejiang's poor energy supply, this has led to a great number of workers engaged in searching for, acquiring, and transporting coal and other raw materials from resource abundant provinces (Zhou and Gu 1994). It is not surprising that, other than the five provinces that are adjacent to Zhejiang, coal-rich Shanxi province ranked number one in 1990 in receiving de facto out-migrants from Zhejiang province.

For individual businesses in retail trade and commerce, survival depends on their success in taking advantage of regional differentials in production and consumption. Given the greater disparities between provinces than within them, these entrepreneurs naturally relocate to major urban centers in other provinces, where they can take full advantage of price differences through trade. Individual craftsmen, too, find the demand for their services mainly in other, remote provinces, where handicrafts are not a tradition. As a result, the development of individual businesses in retail trade/commerce and the revival of traditional handicrafts have led to a high frequency of unofficial migration between provinces. This has been particularly pronounced in Wenzhou region in southeastern Zhejiang, where commerce and handicrafts constitute a strong tradition and where in 1990 interprovincial de facto out-migrants (301,429) outnumbered their intraprovincial counterparts (106,855) by a margin of almost three to one (X. Yang 1996).

Because of its rapid economic growth and spatial differentials in opportunities, Zhejiang provides an ideal setting to examine the interaction between gender, work, and migration. The main data used in this analysis come from the 1990 census of Zhejiang province. Zhejiang was the only province in 1990 that attached a questionnaire to the national census to collect additional information on the unofficial migrant population.[1] The data are unique in at least two aspects. First they allow the analyst to compare de facto out-migrants with the nonmigrants at their places of origin, which is the best way to assess the consequences of migration for migrants (Bilsborrow and United Nations Secretariat 1993). This linkage to place of origin also permits direct comparison of the magnitude of rural outmigration to the degree of women's involvement in agricultural production. Second, the data provide a better measurement of unofficial migration than the standard census approach, which identified only those who were living in established households at the time of the census.

But, like any migration data collected in places of origin, the data have their own limitations. Chief among them is that they fail to include those unofficial migrants whose whole family had moved. The result is a potential downward bias in the magnitude of out-migration. To the extent that women are more likely than men to migrate as part of their families, the bias may be greater for female than for male migrants. Where possible, this data shortcoming will be addressed by attention to information on de facto in-migration contained in the standard census questionnaire. Also excluded are temporary migrants who have spent less than a year at the place of destination.

In addition to the census data, information at the county level from statistical yearbooks and other sources is used to examine the community-level causes and consequences of rural out-migration.

PREVALENCE OF FEMALE MIGRATION IN ZHEJIANG

In 1990, 579,434 Zhejiang women had left and spent over one year away from their home county/city, although retaining their official household registration there. These women constituted 40.7 percent of the de facto, or unofficial, out-migrants in Zhejiang province. On average, women had a lower out-migration rate than men: 28.9 and 39.5 per 1000 population, respectively. But the difference came mainly from interprovincial migration, of which the rates were 14.2 for women and 23.0 for men per 1000 population. For intraprovincial migration, women had a much more comparable rate to men—14.6 and 16.4 per 1000, respectively. Although intraprovincial de facto in-migrants are not exactly the same as intraprovincial de facto out-migrants,[2] they provide a useful check for the possible under-reporting of out-migration noted earlier. The intraprovincial unofficial in-migration rates, being 16.7 and 17.6 per 1000 population for women and men, respectively, indicate some under-reporting of female migrants, but the difference is small.

In contrast to the strictly regulated official migration, de facto migration is largely free of government control and thus is directly responsive to market forces and spatial differences in opportunities. The very nature of the opportunities to which unofficial migrants respond and the long-distance travel involved very likely affect the predominance of men in interprovincial movement. Supply/sales (gongxiao) jobs have been and still are mainly occupied by men. This is true regardless of the type of ownership and the size of the enterprises. In 1990, for example, men outnumbered women in supply/sales occupations by a margin of 8.3 to 1. Furthermore, the greater familial responsibility of women as well as social and cultural norms make it more difficult for women to participate in economic activities far from home (see chap. 10 for further discussion of the gendered construction of space). Close to one third of the interprovincial de facto migrants from Zhejiang ended up in frontier provinces such as Heilongjiang, Jilin, Gansu, Xinjiang, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan, and Guizhou. Women's participation in de facto migration may also be reduced by their lack of access to apprenticeships in traditional handicrafts.

In comparison to the figures for unofficial migrants, there were only about 236,312 Zhejiang women who migrated officially in 1990—less than half the number of de facto woman migrants. In general, although these women were less mobile than the men, their rates of interprovincial and intraprovincial official migration were more similar: 4.1 and 7.8 per 1000 population respectively for women, and 5.5 and 10.1 per 1000 population for men. An interesting contrast between official and unofficial migration is that while intraprovincial movement predominates in the former, interprovincial moves are more common for unofficial migrants.

Women are less mobile than men with respect to both official and unofficial migration. It should be pointed out, however, that both the standard census and the additional questionnaire attached to it in Zhejiang province defined migrants as people who crossed county/city boundaries. As a result, those who moved within counties and cities were excluded from the migration statistics. To the extent that women move shorter distances than men, their lower mobility could partly result from the definition of migration used. Had a smaller spatial unit been used, e.g., a township instead of a county, women might have had mobility rates more comparable to men's.

WHY DO WOMEN MIGR ATE?

A common assumption in migration studies is that women usually migrateas “associational migrants,” accompanying family members, joining husbands who migrated earlier, or creating families through marriage. Data on unofficial migrants from Zhejiang indicate that while a considerably higher percentage of women than men migrated forn one conomicreasons, namely, to accompany other family members (15.2%) and to marry (10.9%), economic motives predominated for female as well as male migrants. Close to two-thirds of migrant women and over 90 percent of migrant men migrated for direct economic reasons. Given that some women “accompanying family members/relatives” may have actually moved to join the family business, the predominance of economic motives among migrant women may be even more significant. In any case, in Zhejiang, female de facto out-migrants are hardly “association almigrants.”Most of them actively participated in them igration process to search for economic opportunities.

Economic reasons play a far more important role in unofficial than official migration. Whereas economic motives predominated among unofficial migrants, fewer than half of the official migrants between 1985 and 1990—24.2 percent for women and 48.2 percent for men—moved because of job transfers, graduate assignments, and other economic activities. Among women, almost half (47.5%) of the official migrants moved because of marriage, another 7.9 percent to accompany family members. Only a small fraction of the official migration among males occurred for these reasons (1.5% and 2.4%, respectively). Study and training (22.1%), retirement (4.2%), and other noneconomic reasons (20.6%) account for official migration among males. Although these other reasons also explain some of the official migration of females, they do so to a lesser extent (14.5%, 1.1%, and 3.2%, respectively).

WHICH WOMEN MIGR ATE?

Migration is a selective process. In general, migrants are younger and better educated than nonmigrants at the place of origin. Do women who are unofficial migrants also fit this general picture? I address the question by comparing patterns of migrant selectivity in terms of age and educational attainment.

Age

The most consistent pattern of migrant selectivity everywhere is with respect to age. Migrants are heavily concentrated in the early adulthood ages. Unofficial migrants in China are no exception. Compared to nonmigrants, male and female de facto migrants are heavily concentrated in the 15–29 years age range. The Index of Dissimilarity (ID)[3] is 13.65 for men and 10.05 for women. These values suggest that the male and female de facto migrant populations have a similar degree of departure in the age distribution relative to their respective nonmigrant populations. This is in sharp contrast to the age patterns of official migrants, where age concentration is more pronounced among female migrants, who are disproportionately clustered in ages between 15 and 24. For them, the category is dominated by marriage migrants in the nubile ages. The Index of Dissimilarity comparing official migrants to the nonmigrant population is 14.3 for men and 20.4 for women.

In terms of migration propensity, men have higher rates of unofficial migration than women throughout the working ages. The difference is particularly pronounced in the 20–24 age interval, when, for each 1000 population, 81 men out-migrated as compared to only 56 women. This age group also has the highest rate of unofficial migration for both men and women. For official migration, peak mobility for men occurs at age 20 to 24, but for women, this peak falls during their later teens, when they have a considerably higher rate than men. Official migration is also characterized by less of a gender difference in migration rates than de facto migration.

That the highest mobility rates generally occur in the 20–24 years age range is no surprise to those familiar with the literature on migration. This is the critical life stage when young adults enter the labor force and get married. These years are also the most rebellious and adventurous ones, where young adults may be easily dissatisfied with the status quo and eagerly search for something new. While young men and young women experience the same life course transition, the different role expectations that society and families usually hold for young men and young women can affect their likelihood of migration differently. Young men must establish themselves and assume responsibility for the social and economic well-being of their families. In rural areas especially, a combination of poor employment prospects and the image of a bright urban life puts young men under increasing pressure to search for opportunities elsewhere to better themselves and their newly established families. Young women become wives and mothers during their twenties. Zhang (chap. 10) describes the experiences of rural women who migrate prior to marriage. Later on, when they are married, these women would be accompanied by young children if they migrated. Unless the entire family moves, women's ability to move away from home can be greatly restrained by their familial roles. In addition, if their wives were to migrate alone, husbands might consider it an indication of failure on their part to provide adequate support and protection for their families.

When it comes to official migration, however, the control exercised by the government through its migration policies diminishes the impact of gendered role expectations on mobility. This is reflected in weaker gender differences in official as compared to unofficial migration. Moreover, in rural areas, the migration of one marriage partner to join the other upon marriage is automatically justified by policy. Brides rather than grooms generally make the relocation. This is why female official migrants are particularly concentrated in their late teens. Different role expectations in combination with government migration policy explain the differences in the migration behavior of men and women during their early adulthood years.

 
<COL align=left> <COL align=right> <COL align=right> <COL align=right> <COL align=right> <COL align=right> <COL align=right>
TABLE 11.1 Migration Status and Migration Rates, by Highest Level of School Attended by Nonstudent Population and by Gender, Zhejiang Province, 1990
  Migration Status
  Nonmigrants (%) Unofficial Migrants (%) Official Migrants (%)
Educational Attainment Male Female Male Female Male Female
SOURCE: 1990 Census of Zhejiang Province.
[a]
College 1.8 0.7 0.8 0.4 16.6 7.0
Vocational school 1.6 1.1 0.6 0.6 10.3 7.4
Senior high school 7.7 5.3 8.1 5.6 17.3 10.3
Junior high school 31.5 22.5 39.7 30.8 31.4 33.1
Elementary 42.2 36.1 43.3 44.6 20.4 32.2
Illiterate 15.3 34.4 7.3 17.9 3.9 9.9
Index of dissimilarity [a] n.a. n.a. 9.85 17.2 33.2 28.3
  Migration Rates (per 1000 population)
College     20.7 22.1 140.3 129.6
Vocational school     19.5 17.3 103.4 88.6
Senior high school     50.1 35.6 35.2 24.7
Junior high school     59.9 45.9 15.7 18.7
Elementary     48.7 41.4 7.6 11.4
Illiterate     22.8 17.4 4.0 3.7

Educational Attainment

Table 11.1 shows the educational profiles of migrant and nonmigrant populations. Among unofficial migrants, when compared to nonmigrants, men and women with a junior high school education are considerably over-represented, while those who have received either no formal education or more than a high school education are considerably under-represented. For women, also significantly over-represented among unofficial migrants are those with an elementary school education. Among official migrants, by contrast, both men and women with more than a junior high school education are over-represented, while women who have a junior high school education are also over-represented. On average, official migrants are much better educated than unofficial migrants, who in turn are better educated than nonmigrants. Gender differences in educational selectivity are greater in unofficial than official migration, as suggested by the Index of Dissimilarity. This is the same as what we saw for age selectivity, where gender differences were greater for unofficial than official migration. The education-specific migration rates in table 11.1 further show that unofficial migration rates are higher for men than women at every educational level except college, where women actually have a higher rate than men do (22.1 per 1000 population for women, as compared to 20.7 for men). For official migration, by contrast, gender differences are less uniform. Women with either a junior high school or elementary school education are actually more mobile than men. The patterns suggest that lower levels of education among women than among men explain to some extent the lower overall rate of official migration for women. The gender difference in education is unlikely to be the main cause of the gender difference in the rates of unofficial migration, however. In fact, the largest difference in de facto migration rates occurs for those with a high-school education— a level of schooling reached by no more than 25 percent of the rural population. The inverse U-shaped relationship between level of education and de facto migration rate also stands in sharp contrast to the relationship for official migration, where rates increase monotonically with one's educational level.

Several factors account for the educational pattern of unofficial migration. First, the market transition has increasingly diversified employment structure, opening the job market to a greater segment of the population with different educational backgrounds. In particular, jobs in the informal sector are usually less demanding in terms of formal education. Nonetheless, some minimum education is still important for working in urban areas. Given the great diversity in local dialects across geographic locations in China, the ability to speak Mandarin (putonghua), often acquired through formal education, becomes critical in peasants' ability to respond to and survive in urban labor markets, especially those far away. (See chap. 10 for an anecdote about the value of Mandarin for Zhejiang migrants in Beijing.)

Second, college and vocational school graduates are avoiding temporary jobs—to which most unofficial migrants respond—because these graduates can obtain better, permanent jobs and thereby move officially. This in turn reduces the share of college and vocational school graduates in the de facto migration flow.

Third, the market transition has weakened the institutional guarantee for gender equality in the workplace. Cost considerations have made many enterprises reluctant to hire women regardless of type of ownership (i.e., state, collective, private). A typical practice is to set a higher minimum score for hiring women than men in job entrance tests. Such discriminatory practices probably have little impact on women without much formal education because their main source of employment is in the informal sector, where education is not a prerequisite and where jobs are often shared within the family or close kin network. It also probably has little impact on women at the top of the educational distribution because they will be looking mainly for permanent professional or administrative positions in the formal sectors, where hiring is still supposed to be subject to government regulations, including the principle of gender equality.

Particularly affected, then, is the hiring of temporary or contract workers in urban industries, which is increasingly open to migrant workers. To the extent that most temporary jobs in urban industries require some high school education, women with a high school education may experience disproportionately the negative impact of discriminatory practices in hiring, whichinturns everely limits their ability to migrateas compared to men with similare ducation. The likelihood of unofficial out-migration among women with a high school education may be further reduced by their greater ability to secure alternative employment in rural industries. Data at the provincial level suggest that the probability of a woman having a job in rural industries more than doubles if she has an elementary school education and almost doubles again if she has a junior or senior high school education. As a result, the difference in rates of defacto migration between men and women is particularly pronounced for persons with some high school education.

WHAT DO MIGR ANT WOMEN DO?

Table 11.2 presents the sectoral distribution of employment of the migrant and nonmigrant populations. Given the substantial difference in employment structure between rural and urban areas, the table presents the nonmigrant populations separately for urban and rural areas. Since 85 percent of unofficial out-migrants originated in rural areas and most ended up in urban places, the nonmigrant population in rural areas represents reasonably well the population at the place of origin, while that of urban areas the population at the place of destination. The one exception consists of rural women who move to another rural location upon marriage, an important component of the official migration stream for women.

Compared to the rural nonmigrant population, unofficial migrants had higher percentages employed in almost every nonagricultural sector. For both men and women, very few unofficial migrants remained in agriculture after migration; the proportion of unofficial migrants engaged in agricultural activities was much lower than that of the urban population. Compared to the urban population, unofficial migrants had considerably higher proportions working in construction, commerce, and service sectors, but lower proportions employed in industry, transportation and communication, and the “other” category. By contrast, a considerable percentage (44.5%) of female official migrants, and a lesser but still significant proportion of male official migrants (20.0%), remained in agriculture after migration. Official migrants are also less likely than unofficial migrants to be employed in construction, commerce, and service sectors, but are much more likely to be in

 
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TABLE 11.2 Sectoral Distribution of Employment among the Nonmigrant and Migrant Populations, 15 Years of Age or Older, by Gender, Zhejiang Province, 1990
  Rural Non-migrants (%) Urban Non-migrants (%) Unofficial Migrants (%) Official Migrants (%)
Industries Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female
SOURCE: 1990 Census of Zhejiang Province.
[a]
Agriculture 76.4 75.0 30.8 26.9 7.4 8 1 20.0 44.5.
Industry 13.5 19.6 33.4 43.4 23.2 25.5 29.6 26.2
Construction 2.3 0.1 5.2 1.1 25.2 5.7 11.2 3.7
Transportation 2.3 0.2 6.1 1.9 2.2 0.6 5.3 1.1
Commerce 2.4 2.6 10.0 13.3 15.8 22.6 6.1 7.3
Service 0.7 0.6 2.8 3.3 17.3 29.0 2.2 2.0
Other [a] 2.4 1.9 11.6 10.1 8.9 8.5 25.5 15.1
Total (000) 9967 6926 4393 3289 653 305 214 166
the “other” category. Note that the “other” category includes many whitecollar workers (see note to Table 11.2). The pattern suggests that while postmigration employment represents a clear shift away from agricultural activities for unofficial and official migrants, unofficial migrants experienced greater difficulties than their official counter parts in gaining access to white collar occupations and were more heavily concentrated in the construction, commerce, and service sectors. This should not be surprising, since whitecollar employment is still favored by urban residents over jobs in construction, commerce, and the service sectors, and is less open to unofficial migrants, who have no local urban household registration. Even if some white-collar jobs are open to unofficial migrant workers, their higher educational requirements make it difficult for de facto migrants to compete with urban residents.

Among unofficial migrants, the sectoral distributions of postmigration employment further suggest that male and female migrants respond to different job opportunities and do different jobs at their urban destinations. For male unofficial migrants, the most frequent postmigration employment was in construction (25%) closely followed by industry (23%); for female de facto migrants, it was the service sector (29%), again followed by industry (26%). The female Zhejiang migrants described by Zhang (chap. 10) fall into these two categories.

Unofficial migrants—men or women—are doing quite different jobs than the urban natives. Further, most jobs in the construction, commerce, and service sectors lack job security and stability, and are characterized by poor working conditions, low pay, and few benefits. These jobs are often rejected by native urban youths entering the labor force. Because of this, migrant workers present neither a real challenge to urban residents nor a burden to the urban economy as far as employment is concerned.

UNOFFICIAL MIGR ATION AND COMMUNITIES OF ORIGIN

Individual migrants seldom act alone in their migration decisions; nor is the impact of migration limited to migrants themselves. Socioeconomic factors in communities of rural origin can affect the degree of migration pressure and influence who will migrate. Being selective, rural out-migration can in turn alter labor force profiles at places of origin. In particular, gender-differentiated migration streams have been blamed for the increasing feminization (nühua) of agricultural production in rural China (R. Barrett et al. 1991; Christiansen 1992; Taylor 1988). The analysis that follows briefly examines the county-level causes of unofficial out-migration and focuses on whether rural out-migration is related to women's involvement in agricultural production. Counties in China are mainly rural, although they include urban towns as well as rural villages. Because close to 90 percent of the population in all counties in Zhejiang province is engaged in agricultural production, migration from counties can be reasonably considered to be migration from rural areas.

Table 11.3 presents zero-order correlation coefficients between rates of unofficial out-migration and selected socioeconomic indicators at the county level in Zhejiang province. For men and women, the rate of de facto out-migration correlates negatively with income level and land/labor ratio, while the rate of de facto in-migration correlates positively with these two indicators. De facto migration apparently follows a typical push-pull model: migrants are leaving counties with fewer opportunities and moving to counties with more opportunities.

With respect to the connection between the out-migration of men and the increasing participation of women in agricultural production, at the county level, the correlation coefficient of?.200 indicates that the outmigration of men is related to a decrease in the involvement of women in agricultural production, but the correlation is not significant. A closer look, however, reveals that there may be some kind of substitution of women for men in agricultural production. First, the almost perfect positive correlation between the overall female employment rate (fememp) and the proportion of agricultural labor force composed of women (femag) indicates that the employment of women in rural areas is overwhelmingly tied to agricultural activities. Second, the positive correlation between femag and the proportion of the rural labor force engaged in rural industries (rurind)

<COL align=left> <COL align=right> <COL align=right> <COL align=right> <COL align=right> <COL align=right> <COL align=right> <COL align=right> <COL align=right>
TABLE 11.3 Correlation Coefficients between Rates of Unofficial Migration and Selected Socioeconomic Indicators among Counties in Zhejiang Province, 1990 (N = 78 counties)
  FOUT IN FEMAG RURIND INCOME RATIO FEMEMP MALEMP
SOURCE: 1990 Census of Zhejiang province and Zhejiang Provincial Statistical Yearbook, 1991.
p = 0.05 (two-tailed test).
NOTE:
MOUT Rate of male unofficial out-migration.
FOUT Rate of female unofficial out-migration.
IN RATE of unofficial in-migration.
FEMAG Proportion of agricultural labor force that is female.
RURIND Proportion of rural labor force employed in township and village industries.
INCOME Per capita income among rural population.
RATIO Land/labor ratio.
FEMEMP Overall rate of female employment.
MALEMP Overall rate of male employment.
MOUT .936∗ –.307∗ –.200 –.262∗ –.414∗ –.465∗ –.264∗ −.146
FOUT   –.210 –.286∗ –.256∗ –.375∗ –.430∗ –.319∗ –.162
IN     –.063 .176 .316∗ .403∗ .037 –.137
FEMAG       .414∗ .165 .355∗ .923∗ .500∗
RURIND         .578∗ .310∗ .485∗ .146
INCOME           .326∗ .241∗ –.092
RATIO             .413∗ .304∗
FEMEMP               .630∗

suggests that employment in rural industries is associated with greater involvement of women in agricultural production. Men's involvement in agricultural production decreases as jobs in rural industries increase. Finally, the correlation between the overall employment rate for men (malemp) and rurind is not significant, while that between malemp and the land/ labor ratio (ratio) is significant and, moreover, positive. The overall level of employment among men seems to be unrelated to the availability of jobs in rural industries but rather tied to agricultural opportunities captured by the land/labor ratio.

The results suggest that the overall level of employment among women in rural areas is largely determined by the demand for their labor in agricultural production, and women's participation in agricultural production in turn serves as either a supplement to or a substitution for men in agricultural production. When there is more land than men can handle, women are called upon to supplement male labor. When jobs in rural industries become available, it is the men who benefit from them first and who switch employment from farming to rural industry (in chap. 8 Michelson and Parish report similar findings in eight provinces). Women are then called upon to fill the vacancies and substitute for men in agricultural production. In sum, while there is some evidence of female substitution for male labor in agricultural production, this is not so much a result of increasing outmigration of men as it is a function of overall rural industrialization. This does not affect the overall level of employment among men but offers them the opportunity for upward mobility. As men move away from agriculture in response to jobs in rural industries or industries in nearby urban places, women will move in to substitute for men in agricultural production.

IMPLICATIONS

Increasing rural-urban migration during the last decade provides an opportunity to examine the interaction between gender roles and migration in the context of swift social and structural transitions. Using Zhejiang province as a case study, my analysis suggests that women have a lower rate of unofficial migration than men. In this chapter, unofficial or de facto migration refers to migration to and residence in a new location for more than a year, but with no change in household registration. While a considerably higher proportion of migrant women than men moved for noneconomic reasons, almost two-thirds of migrant women moved for economic reasons. Their migration can hardly be characterized as “associational.” Nevertheless, other than definitional flaws that may have led to underreporting of the migration of women, the greater familial roles women usually play, reinforced by the gendered role expectations from society, has no doubt restrained their participation in activities like migration, which involve a physical separation from family. This is particularly pronounced during women's early adulthood years.

While lack of formal education among women can also limit the opportunities available to them, improvement in education is no guarantee of equal participation in labor migration. The transition toward a market economy in China has weakened the institutional support for gender equality in the work place, which may have a particularly adverse impacton women from the middle of the educational distribution as they compete for jobs in urban industries and other formal sectors with urban residents and male migrants. Structural changes and changes in labor force dynamics have made more and more urban jobs available to migrant workers, yet migrant women's options are still limited to jobs in the traditionally female-type retail trade and service sectors. Their access to other economic sectors tends to be restricted, perhaps by the often negative social norms or perceptions about women, which have been heightened by the increasing cost-saving and profit-making calculations in management. Consequently, women's participation in labor migration may be circumscribed in comparison to men's.

The county-level analysis points to some evidence of female substitution for male labor in agricultural production. But the main cause of women's increasing involvement in agricultural production is not the out-migration of men; it is more likely the structural and social factors that have limited the nonagricultural opportunities available to women. In order to realize the full potential of women's contribution to development via their participation in labor migration, it will be necessary to enforce the principle of gender equality, to eliminate discrimination against women in the workplace, and to make every option available to women who are otherwise fully qualified.




NOTES

1. The standard census questionnaire also collects information on de facto migration, which can be separated from official migration by migrants' type of household registration. But the information obtained refers only to migrants joining established households and provides no information on places of origin, except for a simple classification distinguishing between origin inside and outside the province of enumeration.

2. Theoretically, these two numbers should match. But the cumulative de facto in-migrant statistics can only be inferred from the standard census question on individuals' official household registration; it is not possible to separate intraprovincial from interprovincial migrants in the cumulative statistics. It is possible, however, to obtain the number of five-year de facto in-migrants by intraprovincial and interprovincial movement. The number of intraprovincial in-migrants used here was, therefore, derived from subtracting the five-year interprovincial in-migrants from the total cumulative de facto permanent in-migrants.

3. The Index of Dissimilarity is calculated as half of the sum of the absolute difference in each age category between the corresponding migrant and nonmigrant populations. It indicates the average cumulative difference in percentages across all age categories between migrant and nonmigrant populations. If there is no difference between the two percentage distributions (the two populations having the same percentage for all categories), the index will be zero. The higher the index, the greater the discrepancy between the two distributions under comparison.

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