Access to social insurance in urban China: a comparative study of rural-urban and urban-urban migrants in Beijing

Cheng, Zhiming, Nielsen, Ingrid and Smyth, Russell 2014, Access to social insurance in urban China: a comparative study of rural-urban and urban-urban migrants in Beijing, Habitat international, vol. 41, pp. 243-252, doi: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2013.08.007.

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Title Access to social insurance in urban China: a comparative study of rural-urban and urban-urban migrants in Beijing
Author(s) Cheng, Zhiming
Nielsen, Ingrid
Smyth, Russell
Journal name Habitat international
Volume number 41
Start page 243
End page 252
Total pages 10
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2014-01-01
ISSN 0197-3975
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Social Sciences
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Environmental Studies
Planning & Development
Urban Studies
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Public Administration
Rural-to-urban migrants
Urban-to-urban migrants
Social insurance
Labour contract
Hukou system
Summary  Since 1958 the hukou (household registration) system has assigned Chinese citizens either a rural or urban status. Some studies argue that the rural-to-urban migrants in China who do not have urban hukou are not entitled to urban social insurance schemes, due to institutional discrimination, which applies differing treatment to urban and rural hukou (chengxiang fenge). Although rural-urban migrants participate less in the social insurance system than their counterparts with urban hukou, a closer examination of recent policy developments shows that migrants actually do have the legal right to access the system. This implies that discrimination between rural and urban workers has been declining, and distinctions based on household registration status are less able to explain China's current urban transition. This paper provides a new way of examining Chinese migrants' social insurance participation, by adopting a framework that includes both rural-to-urban migrants and urban-to-urban migrants, which are an important, but less studied, migrant group. Among our key findings are that urban migrants are more likely to sign a labour contract than rural migrants; urban migrants have higher participation rates in social insurance than rural migrants; having a labour contract has a greater impact than hukou status in determining whether Beijing's floating population accesses social insurance; and urban migrants who have signed a labour contract have higher participation rates in social insurance than either rural migrants or urban migrants without a labour contract. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.habitatint.2013.08.007
Field of Research 150305 Human Resources Management
Socio Economic Objective 910402 Management
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Elsevier
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