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Rural Migrants: On the Fringe of the City, a Bridge to the Countryside

Return Migration, Occupational Change, and Self-Employment

The Case of Wuwei County
Hui Xu


ABSTRACT: After two decades of rural-to-urban labour exodus, an increasing trend of urban-to-rural labour counterflow has also occurred in China. This paper discusses the economic performance of return migrants with data from a survey conducted in Wuwei County in 2008. We identify the characteristics of return migrants, record their occupational change patterns, and examine their current self-employment activities. A comparative approach with non-migrants is used throughout the paper.

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Electronic reference

Hui Xu, « Return Migration, Occupational Change, and Self-Employment », China Perspectives [Online], 2010/4 | 2010, Online since 01 December 2013, connection on 26 October 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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Hui Xu

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