Cumulative causation, market transition, and emigration from China

Zai Liang, University at Albany, State University of New York
Miao David Chunyu, University at Albany, State University of New York
Guotu Zhuang, Xiamen University
Wenzhen Ye, Xiamen University

In this paper, we report findings from a recent survey of international migration from China’s Fujian province. We take advantage of the ethnosurvey approach as used in the Mexican Migration Project. Survey was done in migrant-sending communities in China as well as destination community of New York City. We derive hypotheses from two strands of recent studies in the international migration literature and the market transition debate. Our results are in general consistent with hypotheses derived from cumulative causation of migration. We also find that because of geographical location of China as compared to Mexico, there are some differences between China and Mexico in terms of particular migration patterns to the United States. With respect to market transition theory, we find political power continues to be an important factor in the order of social stratification in the coastal Fujian province.

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Presented in Session 14: International migration and networks