Determinants of wage arrears and implications for the socio-economic wellbeing of China's migrant workers: Evidence from Guangdong province

Zhiming Cheng, Ingrid Louise Nielsen, Russell Leigh Smyth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


In recent years wage arrears have been widespread in transition economies that have experienced labour market reforms in the course of regime change (e.g. Russia, Ukraine and the Kyrgyz Republic) - resulting in poverty and other welfare problems (see Boyarchuk et al 2005; Namazie 2002). Different from these post-Soviet transition economies, China remains under the rule of a socialist regime and maintains its social structure in the urban labour market, which discriminates against rural-urban migrant workers. The aim of this chapter is to examine wage arrears and their socio-economic impact on migrant workers wellbeing and identity in the Chinese context. This chapter shows that Chinese workers have also experienced wage arrears during the economic transition from a socialist to a market economy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Chinese Migration: Identity and Wellbeing
EditorsRobyn R Iredale, Fei Guo
Place of PublicationCheltenham UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Pages105 - 125
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781783476633
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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