Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (6): 1376-1391.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202306004

• Population and Urban Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Process and determinisms of settlement intention among China's migrant workers

TIAN Ming1(), XU Qingwen2   

  1. 1. School of Social Development and Public Policy, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. Silver School of Social Work, New York University, New York 10012, USA
  • Received:2022-02-06 Revised:2022-12-30 Online:2023-06-25 Published:2023-06-21
  • Supported by:
    The Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research(2019QZKK0406);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871129)

Abstract:

In view of the inherent differences in the willingness of long-term residence, permanent settlement, and hukou conversion, as well as the identification and classification of related indicators, this paper examines the occurrence sequence and urban differences of the migrant population's willingness of long-term residence, permanent settlement and hukou conversion in the residence process based on the questionnaire of the migrant population in 25 cities in China. Through multi-level logit regressions, this paper compares the differences and similarities of the influence mechanisms of different willingness, and the determinants of the willingness to stay. The study finds that: (1) From the perspective of the process, the willingness to stay of the migrant population is sequential and progressive. Generally speaking, the willingness of permanent settlement is generated based on the willingness of long-term residence, and the willingness of hukou conversion occurs based on the willingness of permanent settlement. However, the willingness of hukou conversion in first-tier cities is higher than that of permanent settlement, and the relationship is more complicated. (2) From the perspective of the influence mechanisms, in addition to human capital, the generation of the willingness of long-term residence is mainly affected by social relations and social integration; the willingness of permanent settlement is significantly affected by economic income and family migration, and certain level of economic income and family migration can greatly improve the willingness to settle down permanently; the willingness of hukou conversion is mainly affected by identity and urban factors, and the higher degree of identity in the inflow area, the higher willingness of hukou conversion. (3) From the perspective of urban hierarchy, the willingness of permanent settlement shows an inverted "U"-shaped trend, with the highest willingness to settle down in provincial capital cities and the lowest in first-tier cities such as Beijing; the willingness of hukou conversion increases with the increase in urban hierarchy, and the migrants have higher willingness of hukou conversion in upper-level cities. The former is driven by economic factors, and is the result of the trade-off between the city's attractiveness and the cost of living, while the latter is driven by the degree of recognition, which is higher in upper-level cities. In the process of citizenization, the formation of the willingness to settle down is a key part. It is necessary to implement policies based on characteristics of the city to help improve the economic strength of the migrant population, promote family migration, and weaken the indicative significance of hukou conversion.

Key words: migrant workers, hukou conversion, settlement, urban hierarchy, determinisms