Labour migration is a phenomenon integral to China’s economic prosperity but is inextricably intertwined with challenges to, and opportunity for, its social development. Migration not only plays a pivotal role in boosting urban economic development but also mitigates the problem of surplus rural labour in the place of origin. Nonetheless, the vast majority of peasant migrants are in inferior social and economic positions compared to urban residents. Under the dualistic household registration system, rural migrants are excluded from access to public services in the cities where entitlements exist only for those with urban hukou. Exclusion of rural migrants from urban health, education, housing and social security systems is a key obstacle to attaining social development in China. The deepening of the market-oriented reforms in the 1990s has adversely affected the balance between economic development and social equality. There is a mounting concern over how to achieve a fair and competitive society so as to maintain the social cohesion in China. This paper sets out against the context outlined above to assess the extent of migrants’ accessibility to medical and pension insurance in Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province and a province receiving a massive number of migrants. More specifically, the paper attempts to investigate the extent to which the local government in Hangzhou implements policy reform addressing migrants’ entitlement to welfare.
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2011|