Rural Labor Mobility in the Process of Industrialization under Triple Dimensions

Time, Space, and People


Rural-to-urban labor migration in developing economies, if beyond employment absorption capacity, is both a symptom of underdevelopment and the factor that exacerbates underdevelopment. Although various theories in development economics, in particular, the dual economy, together with numerous migration literature, bore intention to explore a balanced development approach in rural labor mobility, content-based studies are often overwhelmed, whereas the context/circumstance-based angle (like industrialization) in the research of labor mobility is always neglected. This paper reviews, under an ancient Chinese epistemological methodology that consists of time, space, and people, labor mobnility theories. It combines the old institutionalist and new structuralist schools of thought, searching a dynamic theoretical framework to deconstruct the overarching labor mobility in the process of industrialization.

Author Biography

Ph.D. candidate of the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP),Brazil. Fellow of the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD), University of Kassel.


Allen, R. C. (2000). Economic structure and agricultural productivity in Europe, 1300–1800. European Review of Economic History, 4(1), 1–25.

Bairoch, P. (1979). Economic development in the Third World since 1900.

Boulding, K. E. (1983). Evolutionary economics.

Breman, J. (2016). At work in the informal economy of India: A perspective from the bottom up (OIP). OUP Catalogue.

Burns, T. R. (2000). Structuralist Perspective: Economic and Social Changes.

Cai, F., Du, Y., & Wang, M. Y. (2003). Political Economy of Labor Mobility.

Carrington, M. W., & Detragiache, M. E. (1998). How big is the brain drain? (98-102).

Chen, L. T. (2011). The Dynamic Analysis of Space Economics Development. Economic Journal of Hubei University, 9(1).

Chen, S. J. (2006). The Evolution of Time Concepts and their Impact on the Development of Economics. Journal Economist, 3(3), 21–28.

Chen, X. H. (1990). An Overview of Modern International Economy: Since the 16th Century. Cipolla, C. M., & Huang, Z. H. (1993). World Population and Economic History. Beijing Business Press.

Clapham, J. H. (1966). The economic development of France and Germany, 1815-1914.

Clark, C. (1951). The conditions of economic progress.

Davis, M. (2004). Planet of slums. New Left Review, 26, 5.

Demeny, P., & McNicoll, G. (2006). World population 1950-2000: Perception and response. Population and Development Review, 32, 1–51.

Engels, F. (2005). The condition of the working class in England, 22–27.

Fisher, A. G. (1945). Economic progress and social security.

Fujita, M., Krugman, P. R., & Venables, A. J. (2001). The spatial economy: Cities, regions, and international trade.

Ghatak, S. (1995). Introduction to development economics.

Habitat, U. N. (2007). Slum dwellers to double by 2030: Millennium development goals could fall short. 21st Session of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat, Http://Www. Preventionweb. Net/Files/1713_463146759GC202120Slum20dwellers2 0to20double. Pdf.

Hanson, G. H. (2009). The economic consequences of the international migration of labor. Annu. Rev. Econ., 1(1), 179–208.

Jiang, L. L. (2008). Study on Urbanization in the German Industrial Revolution.

Jiang, W. (2007). Rural Labor Mobility in the Process of German Industrialization: Mechanism, Characteristics, Problems and References. European Studies, 25(1), 101–114.

Kitching, G. (2010). Seeking social justice through globalization: Escaping a nationalist perspective.

Krugman, P. (2011). The new economic geography, now middle-aged. Regional Studies, 45(1), 1–7.

Lewis, W. A. (1954). Economic development with unlimited supplies of labour. The Manchester School, 22(2), 139–191.

Lewis, W. A. (1972). Reflections on unlimited labor, 75–96.

Li, C. (2017). Changing Relations of Production of Agriculture in China under Globalization. In A. M. Buainain, M. R. de Sousa, & Z. Navarro (Eds.), Globalization and Agriculture Redefining Unequal Development (pp. 107–125). Lexington Books.

Li, J. X. (2000). Characteristics of "compressed" environmental problems in China's rapid economic development. Journal of Social Sciences, 4, 50–54.

Liang, Q., & Huang, Z. (2012). Spatial Economics in China. Economics (Quarterly), 4, 61–66.

Lutz, M. A. (2002). Economics for the Common Good: Two Centuries of Economic Thought in the Humanist Tradition.

Nelson, R. R. (2009). An evolutionary theory of economic change.

Peng, Y. L., Wang, W. H., & Shang, J. Y. (2009). Principles of Economics.

Ranis, G. (1988). Analytics of development: Dualism. Handbook of Development Economics, 1, 73–92.

Ranis, G. (2004). Labor surplus economies. The New Palgrave–Economic Development, 191–198.

Rong, C. H. (2016). The Concept of Time and the Framework of Time-spatial Analysis in Economics. Journal of Beijing Jiaotong University (Social Science Edition), 15(03), 1.

Rong, D. X., & Sima, J. (1989). Research on Agricultural Labor Transfer in Various Countries. Economic Daily Press.

Scherrer, C., & Verma, S. (2018). Decent Work Deficits in Southern Agriculture.

Sun, X. F. (2012). Thought Changes and Path Exploration of Labor Migration Theory. China's population resources and environment, 22(11), 89–94.

Tanner, A. (2005). Brain drain and beyond: returns and remittances of highly skilled migrants. Global Migration Perspectives, 24(1), 1–13.

Todaro, M. P. (1969). Economic Development in the Third World, New York: Longman Inc.

Todaro, M. P., Yu, T. S., & Su, R. S. (1988). Economic Development in the Third World.

Wang, Y. M. (1995). Population and Modernization in Historical Perspective.

Wang, Z. H., & Huang, K. K. (1999). European and American Rural Labor Migration and Urbanization. Social Sciences Academic Press, 4.

Wang, Z. H., Sun, X., & Tao, H. F. (1995). The rise of industrial society. A Comparative Study of the Industrial Revolutions in Five European Countries, 88–90.

Winter, S. G., Nelson, R. R., & Hu, S. K. (1997). Evolutionary theory of economic change.

Xiao, H. Y. (1997). Urbanization, Population Movement and Economic Development in Germany. World History Press, 5, 62–72.

Zelinsky, W. (1971). The hypothesis of the mobility transition. Geographical Review, 219–249.

Zhang, Q. (2016). The Supply of Social Policy on Rural Labor Migration: International Experience and Domestic Practice. Beijing: Economic Science Press.

Zhong, Y. S. (2012). Chinese Classical Economics.

Zorn, W. (1971). Handbuch der deutschen Wirtschafts-und Sozialgeschichte, 1.
Keywords Labor mobility, Industrialization, Labor absorption
How to Cite
Li, C. (2020). Rural Labor Mobility in the Process of Industrialization under Triple Dimensions. Latin American Journal of Trade Policy, 3(6), 6 - 31. doi:10.5354/0719-9368.2020.57164
Articles: FLAUC Annual Meeting 2019