PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (8): 940-951.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.08.003

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Migrant workers' migration patterns from the dual perspectives of attributes and network structures

Yike REN1(), Liancheng SONG1, Ruifang SHE1, Haifeng DU2   

  1. 1. School of Economics and Management, Shanxi Normal University, Linfen 041004, Shanxi, China
    2. School of Public Policy and Administration, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China
  • Online:2017-08-31 Published:2017-08-28
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Foundation of China, No.13BRK016;Major Project of National Social Science Foundation of China, No. 13&ZD044,No.15ZDA048


Migrant workers' migration at the micro level is associated with intercity economic linkages at the macro level. Jointly considering attributes of migrant workers and source/destination cities and network relation structures provides a powerful tool for the analysis of such association. Using the survey data of 1142 migrant workers and network data of 198 cities from official websites, this article analyzes the effects of individual and city attributes, individual social network factors, and city network factors on migrant workers' migration. Regression results indicate that individual attributes such as age, education, occupation type, working years, emigration and immigration areas, and individual network factors such as the type of helpers in job seeking and whether the helpers hold a public service position, have significant impact on migrant workers' choice of destination area, migration distance, and income. Through analyzing city attributes and whole networks' out-degree and in-degree, correlation between networks, scale-free properties, core-periphery structure, and small world characteristics, the following migration patterns are revealed: from underdeveloped areas to developed cities, pursuing high wages at the expense of long distance, clustering in target cities, no guarantee of high salary working in developed cities, and migrating to developed cities directly rather than through indirectly routes. Based on the above conclusions, some countermeasures and suggestions are proposed for guiding migration decision making, reducing information cost, and optimizing the allocation of labor resources.

Key words: migrant workers, attribute factors, ego-centric network, whole network, complex structure characteristics, migration patterns