Returned Migrants, Family Capital and Entrepreneurship in Rural China

  • Zhilei ShiEmail author
Open Access


This paper introduces an interaction item consisting of migration experience and family capital into a rural labor employment selection model. It analyzes how migration experience helps eliminate resource constraints in rural areas and facilitates the participation of rural workers in entrepreneurship. We find that the length of time migrants work in migrant inflow areas exerts a significantly positive influence on the non-agricultural employment of returned migrants. We also find that those returned migrants who have worked in the service industry prefer to work for local enterprises. Furthermore, returned migrant workers with business experience tend to start their own businesses upon returning home. Compared with non-migrants, returned migrants are more capable of utilizing their rural family capital in the entrepreneurial process. These findings suggest that both migration experience and family capital promote local employment and entrepreneurship in rural areas, despite the fact that they are subject to the imperfect rural market mechanism and lack adequate social support.

Key words

Migration experience Family capital Return migrants Self-employment 


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© China Population and Development Research Center 2015

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Population and Health Research CenterSchool of Public Administration at Zhongnan University of Economics and LawWuhanChina

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