The Impact of Dialect on Inter-Provincial Migration

Huang Zongye      Yang Jing

Abstract: Using the 2000 and 2010 census data, this paper uses a modified gravity model to empirically examine the impact of dialect on inter-provincial migration. Our results show that common dialect has a significant impact on inter-provincial migration, where workers tend to move to locations with similar language and cultural background. We also find the impact of dialect has decreased over time, while the impact of distance has also decreased due to the improvements in transportation infrastructures. Moreover, we find that the popularity of dialect constrains the inter-provincial migration of labor, while the usage of mandarin can eliminate the communication barriers, thus facilitating the reallocation of labor. Our results suggest further promoting mandarin would encourage population migration and improve the allocation of human capital across regions.

Keywords:Labor Migration, Gravity Model, Dialect, Mandarin

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