Option Value in China's Great Migration

Summer 2007

Andrew Harada Rowland : Political Economy of Industrial Societies, Mathematics

Mentor: David Card, Economics

This research project will use a large series of migrant worker interviews to measure the option vale of the urban environment in Beijing, China. The difference in urban and rural earnings, taking into account respective changes in standards of living, are an important component of a migrant worker's decision to move from countryside to city. Understanding the value migrant laborers place on their new urban lives will help paint a clearer picture of what has become the greatest migration in the history of the world.

While my previous study abroad experience greatly excited my interest in the Chinese culture and international economics, I am most excited by this project because it presents an opportunity to learn from a unique and unprecedented event in economic history. Learning firsthand about workers' income, housing, healthcare, etc, seeing the places in which they live, and interacting with a class of people whose existence remains largely shrouded or unknown to those who are affected by them, is a fascinating way to spend my summer and I am greatly anticipating the experience.