Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Can land transfer through land cooperatives foster off-farm employment in China?

Liu ZM, Rommel J, Feng SY, Hanisch M


Functioning land markets are necessary for an increase in off-farm employment. However, there is limited empirical evidence on the impact of land transfer on off-farm employment in rural China. This paper investigates the drivers of households' cooperative membership, which is equivalent to transferring land through land cooperatives, and its impact on off-farm employment. Using a two-step control function approach and data from Suzhou and Yangzhou (Jiangsu province), we do not find a general effect of cooperative membership on household heads' current off-farm employment, though the effect is large for households which had surplus agricultural labor before cooperative initiation. The effect is also positive and large for household heads without off-farm experience and households located in Yangzhou. Policy-makers should be aware of the distributional consequences of these heterogeneous effects.


Land market; Labor market; Land cooperative; Control function; Jiangsu

Published in

China Economic Review
2017, Volume: 45, pages: 35-44

    UKÄ Subject classification


    Publication Identifiers


    Permanent link to this page (URI)