Rural migrants get integrated in urban China: the impact of health insurance

Stream: Chinese social policy: migration and belonging
Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Time: 1.25 pm – 2.25 pm

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of health insurance on the integration of rural migrants into cities of China. Both the OLS and Quantile Regressions are employed. The dataset comes from a nationwide survey conducted by China’s National Health Commission. We have the following findings. First, health insurance improved the integration of migrants into cities, although the effect varied significantly at different quantiles. At low quantiles, the impact of health insurance on migrant integration was weak. The impact was relatively strong at upper quantiles, and it magnified as quantiles increased. Second, rural-urban migrants were not as integrated as urban-urban migrants. The gap between them widened as quantiles increased. Third, the effect of health insurance on rural-urban migrants’ integration varied at different quantiles. At lower quantiles, the impact was modest, and it grew to be substantial at upper quantiles. Fourth, at all quantiles, the effect of health insurance on urban-urban migrants was relatively minor, and the effect remained consistent at different quantiles. On the policy front, it is therefore important to make medical services more affordable. Employers should purchase health insurance for all migrant employees, despite their employment status. We also suggest to accelerate the cross-region transfer of health insurance. Meanwhile, different levels of governments should prioritize the needs of rural-urban migrants, especially low-income migrants, in social integration. These measures can contribute to migrants’ smooth integration and an overarching goal of high-quality urbanization. Keywords: health insurance; rural-urban migrants; urban-urban migrants; social integration

Authors

Lijian Qin (Presenter), Anhui University of Finance and Economics
Vice President, School of Finance and Public Administration, Anhui University of Finance and Economics, China

Hong Chen (Presenter), Anhui University of Finance and Economics
PhD., Assistant Professor, School of Languages and Media, Anhui University of Finance and Economics, China