Market transition excludes a great number of industrial workers from former state-owned enterprises from the newly established labour market. On the other hand, the market economy absorbs millions of rural migrants into the cities. But the institution of household registration discriminates against migrants in public services. Although there is a noticeable problem of urban poverty in China, this article argues that there is no unified poverty caused by a single mechanism. Our study contrasts two poverty groups and compares their characteristics. It is found that the migrant poor tend to be younger with lower educational attainment but with a very high job participation rate, and live predominantly in private rental housing. The poor in permanently registered households are older and thus suffer the risk of market redundancy, but mainly stay in public or ex-public housing with less residential mobility. These features reflect their different connections to the market and institutional exclusion.
Yuting Liu; Fulong Wu; Shenjing He. The Making of the New Urban Poor in Transitional China: Market Versus Institutionally Based Exclusion. Urban Geography (2008) 29 (8) 811-834. [DOI: 10.2747/0272-36188.8.131.521]