Chinese Geographical Science

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 153–166 | Cite as

Spatio-Temporal Impact of Rural Livelihood Capital on Labor Migration in Panxi, Southwestern Mountainous Region of China

  • Jiangjun Wan
  • Wei Deng
  • Xueqian Song
  • Ying Liu
  • Shaoyao Zhang
  • Yi Su
  • Yafeng Lu


Labor migration to urban centers is a common phenomenon in the Panxi region of the southwestern mountainous region of China, mainly owing to inadequate livelihood capital in rural areas. Numerous studies have been conducted to explore the relationship between labor migration and its causes, such as individual and family characteristics, but few studies have focused on livelihood capital. This paper examines the impact factors on labor migration employment location selection and duration from a household livelihood capital perspective. A case study of 279 households from 10 villages in the area was carried out in February 2016. We used both qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze the data. On the basis of the 279 questionnaires, the proportion of households with non-labor migration is 48.4%, whereas households with labor migration within a local city and migration across regions account for 28.7% and 22.9%, respectively. Social, financial, and human capitals are the primary factors that influence migrants’ employment location choice positively. Among them, social capital has a significant impact on both migration within a local city and across regions; each of the regression coefficients is 1.111 and 1.183. Social, human, and financial capitals also have a positive impact on the duration of labor migration, and similarly, social capital is the highest coefficient with 2.489. However, physical capital only partly impacts labor migration across regions, whereas the impact of labor migration within a local city, and the duration, are not significant. Furthermore, the impact of household natural capital on migration space and time are all negative relationships, especially for labor migration across the regions and duration, with coefficient scores of 4.836 and 3.450, respectively. That is to say, a laborer is inclined to migrate within a local city for a short term, or not migrate at all, if natural capital is abundant. Our analysis results show that household livelihood capital has a strong spatio-temporal impact on labor migration.


labor migration livelihood capital spatio-temporal impact southwestern mountainous region China 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiangjun Wan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei Deng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xueqian Song
    • 3
  • Ying Liu
    • 1
  • Shaoyao Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yi Su
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yafeng Lu
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Chengdu University of Information TechnologyChengduChina

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