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Urbanization and Rural-Urban Migration in China

A talk (in Chinese) by BAI NANSHENG (Renmin University)

Friday, March 20, 2009
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095


From a comparative perspective, it is clear that the degree of urbanization in China remains low; in a historical perspective, however, the pattern of low urbanization vs. high industrialization is in the process of changing.  The high concentration of labor in agricultural production is the biggest misplacement in the structure of resource allocation.  An important feature of urbanization during the reform era is that it needs to be based on the breaking-down of the urban-rural separation.  Yet, because of the system of social exclusion in employment, everyday life, and social communication, most migrant workers cannot settle in cities, and thus are left in limbo as “semi-urbanized.”  It follows that the issue of migrant workers posts a core challenge for China’s urbanization. Along with the economic growth in China, urbanization has accelerated, and a development with parity requires an overall and balanced arrangement of urban and rural interests.  All of these raise serious questions about policies regarding the mobility of rural labor, which are critically important for the institutional reforms that facilitate a stable transition of the rural population into urban residents.

Professor Bai will speak in Chinese.

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Bai Nansheng (白南生) is Professor in the School of Agricultural and Rural Development, Renmin University of China. Trained as an economist, Professor Bai has worked on issues of rural China for over twenty-five years.  Prior to his professorial appointment, Bai had had extensive experience working in government agencies, including the State
Council and the Ministry of Agriculture. His research is interdisciplinary and focuses on labor, migration, poverty, inequality,
and rural development.  He has published nine books and over seventy research articles. A trademark of Professor Bai's research is intensive and long-term fieldwork. His research has influenced China's policy on rural development, and has been extensively used by the World Bank and the United Nations. In 2007, Professor Bai was selected by the United Nations to receive a Human Development Award, for "Excellence in Policy Analysis and Influence."

310 825-8683

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies

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