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International Trade Liberalization and Domestic Institutional Reform: Effects of WTO Accession on Chinese Internal Migration Policy

Tian, Yuan


Yuan Tian


Economic institutions that impede factor mobility become more costly when an economy experiences substantial transitions such as trade liberalization. I study how trade triggers changes in labor institutions that regulate internal migration in the context of China's Hukou system. Using a newly-collected dataset on prefecture-level migration policies, I document an increase in pro-migrant regulations following WTO entry and estimate the impact of prefecture-level tariffs on exports on migration regulations from 2001 to 2007. I find that regions facing more export market liberalization enacted more migrant-friendly regulations.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 20, 2022
Online Publication Date May 14, 2024
Publication Date May 14, 2024
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2023
Journal The Review of Economics and Statistics
Print ISSN 0034-6535
Electronic ISSN 1530-9142
Publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 106
Issue 3
Pages 794-813
Keywords Economics and Econometrics; Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
Public URL
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