Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

Sustaining Regional Advantages in Manufacturing: Skill Accumulation of Rural-Urban Migrant Workers in the Coastal Area of China

  1. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  2. College of Resources Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
  3. Rizhao Transportation Bureau of Shandong, Rizhao 276800, China
Version 1 : Received: 30 November 2016 / Approved: 1 December 2016 / Online: 1 December 2016 (09:42:02 CET)

How to cite: Zhu, H.; Feng, J.; Wang, M.; Xu, F. Sustaining Regional Advantages in Manufacturing: Skill Accumulation of Rural-Urban Migrant Workers in the Coastal Area of China. Preprints 2016, 2016120001 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201612.0001.v1). Zhu, H.; Feng, J.; Wang, M.; Xu, F. Sustaining Regional Advantages in Manufacturing: Skill Accumulation of Rural-Urban Migrant Workers in the Coastal Area of China. Preprints 2016, 2016120001 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201612.0001.v1).

Abstract

Extant research pays little attention to migrant workers’ skill accumulation/upgrading from the perspective of the labor supply. This paper takes China as an example to explore the factors influencing skill accumulation of rural-urban migrant workers (RUMWs), with a purpose to discover how to sustain or reshape regional competitive advantage through improving RUMWs’ skill accumulation. Structured questionnaire surveys were adopted for data collection in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province and Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province located in the Yangtze River Delta in the east of China. 900 questionnaires were issued and 491 effective questionnaires were recovered totally. This paper takes a perspective of global production networks, and gets a broad viewpoint containing intra-firm coordination, inter-firm partnership and extra-firm bargaining with non-firm actors, beyond what the extant literature on laborers’ human capital focuses on. The finding indicates that firms’ skill-oriented preference, which concerns about employees’ skills and innovation ability and stimulates them to learn initiatively, have a significant influence on RUMWs’ skill accumulation. In terms of collective efficiency based on co-competitive relationship between local firms, the more intensive interactions are, the more opportunities of skill accumulation RUMWs get. The accessibility of local institutions and favorable policies benefit RUMWs’ skill accumulation. Besides, the place itself, as a synthesized space of labor-management relations inside a firm and inter-organization relations, exerts an influence on and cause the regional differences in RUMWs’ skill accumulation.

Subject Areas

skill accumulation; regional advantages; rural-urban migrant workers; global production networks; upgrading

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