Table 3 presents the mean differences in earnings, working hours, individual characteristics, and human capital levels between rural migrant and urban workers in our sample. This table shows that, on average, rural migrant workers earn less and work longer hours than urban workers. Specifically, rural migrant workers earn about CNY4,421 per month, which is 31.8% less than the monthly earnings of urban workers (significant at the 1% level). In addition, rural migrant workers earn about CNY20.4 per hour, which is 47% less than the hourly earnings of urban workers (significant at the 1% level). Furthermore, we find that the difference in hourly wages is larger than the difference in monthly wages because rural migrants work an average of 5.2 hours, or 10.8%, more per week than urban workers (53 hours versus 48 hours per week).

Table 3.
Mean Difference between Rural Migrant and Urban Workers
Urban Mean (SD) N = 3,192Rural Migrant Mean (SD) N = 4,607Mean Difference (3) = (2) – (1) (SE)
(1)(2)(3)
Monthly earnings in 2015 (CNY) 5,828 4,421 −1,407***
(5,593) (3,038) (98)
Hourly earnings in 2015 (CNY) 29.92 20.36 −9.56***
(29.75) (14.84) (0.51)
Weekly working hours 48 53 5.2***
(10) (12) (0.3)
Male 0.60 0.54 −0.066***
(0.49) (0.50) (0.011)
Age 39.15 35.66 −3.49***
(9.22) (9.33) (0.21)
Years of schooling 13.18 10.85 −2.33***
(2.62) (2.85) (0.06)
Junior high school or below 0.15 0.47 0.317***
(0.36) (0.50) (0.010)
High school or vocational high school 0.38 0.36 −0.023**
(0.49) (0.48) (0.011)
Vocational college or above 0.47 0.17 −0.294***
(0.50) (0.38) (0.010)
Urban Mean (SD) N = 3,192Rural Migrant Mean (SD) N = 4,607Mean Difference (3) = (2) – (1) (SE)
(1)(2)(3)
Monthly earnings in 2015 (CNY) 5,828 4,421 −1,407***
(5,593) (3,038) (98)
Hourly earnings in 2015 (CNY) 29.92 20.36 −9.56***
(29.75) (14.84) (0.51)
Weekly working hours 48 53 5.2***
(10) (12) (0.3)
Male 0.60 0.54 −0.066***
(0.49) (0.50) (0.011)
Age 39.15 35.66 −3.49***
(9.22) (9.33) (0.21)
Years of schooling 13.18 10.85 −2.33***
(2.62) (2.85) (0.06)
Junior high school or below 0.15 0.47 0.317***
(0.36) (0.50) (0.010)
High school or vocational high school 0.38 0.36 −0.023**
(0.49) (0.48) (0.011)
Vocational college or above 0.47 0.17 −0.294***
(0.50) (0.38) (0.010)

CNY = Chinese yuan, N = number of observations, SD = standard deviation, SE = standard error.

Notes: Rural migrant workers are those who work in manufacturing (nonagriculture sector) and have a rural hukou. Monthly earnings include both wages and bonuses; hourly earnings are measured by dividing the monthly earnings measure by average hours worked per month.

Source: Authors’ calculations.

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