Research seminar: Yanos Zylberberg (University of Bristol)

Title: "Floating population: migration with(out) family and the spatial distribution of economic activity"

  • Date: 21 March 2023 from 12:00 to 13:15

  • Event location: Seminar Room - Piazza Scaravilli, 2 + Microsoft Teams Meeting


This paper argues that migrants' decision to bring their dependent family members shapes their consumption behavior, their choice of destination, and their sensitivity to migration barriers. The first part of the paper uses detailed Chinese data to document that: (i) rural migrants disproportionately sort into expensive cities; (ii) in these cities, rural migrants live without their family and in poorer housing conditions; and (iii) they remit more, especially when living without their family. We then develop a quantitative spatial model in which migrant households choose whether, how (with or without their family) and where to migrate. We estimate the model using plausibly exogenous variation in wages, housing prices, and exposure to the Hukou system---which disproportionately imposes costs to family migration by limiting access of rural migrants to urban public goods. We then use the model to understand how migration frictions shape the nature of migration flows, their allocation across space, and the distribution of city size.  

[The paper is joint with Clément Imbert, Joan Monras and Marlon Seror]

Invited by: Bruno Conte Leite

Local Organizer: Niko Jaakkola