As Immigrant in Metropolis: The analysis on housing condition of the floating population in Beijing and Shanghai
Wu, Weiping & Wang,Hansheng
China's recent waves of internal migration reflect a rapidly urbanizing society undergoing a transition from a planned to a market economy. Largely circular and expected to return to their home places in the long run, migrants confront severe restrictions on housing in urban destinations. This paper is motivated by three key research questions: (1) what are the choices and constraints migrants face in the cities for making housing decisions? (2) how do housing patterns of migrants compare to those of local residents? and (3) what environmental factors influence migrant housing location in the cities? It is critical that interpretations of migrant housing patterns in urban China need to be linked with the country's unique institutional factors, in particular the circulating nature of migration, the existing household registration system, and the transitioning state of the urban housing market. Restricted access to urban housing, together with the temporary status for migrants, contributes to poor housing conditions. Compared to the locals, migrants fare worse in both quantitative and qualitative indicators of housing conditions.