SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (4): 525-532.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2019.04.001

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

Skill Complementarity of Labor Force, Income Level and Urbanization in China’s Cities in 2003-2015

Qunyang Du(), Hangdong Yu()   

  1. College of Economics, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310014, Zhejiang, China
  • Received:2018-01-24 Revised:2018-04-15 Online:2019-04-10 Published:2019-04-10
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China (71573233), Ministry of Education of Philosophy and Social Science Research Major Projects (17JZD018)


China has been entered the new period of urbanization. In order to investigate the role of skill complementarity in this process, firstly, the coupling coordination degree of high-low skilled labor force in 285 prefecture level cities in 2003-2012 was measured, selecting ‘information transmission, software and information technology service’‘financial service’‘wholesale and retail trade industry’ and ‘accommodation and catering industry’ as main representative industries. Then, the effect of expanding the scale of low-skilled labor force on worker’s income analyzed, both on national level and regional level. Finally, the effects of several kinds of public services are also been discussed. The three main findings were as followed. Firstly, the coupling coordination degree of high-low skilled labor force at prefecture level was generally increased in the past decade, while varied across regions greatly. In descending order of improvement degree, the 7 main national regions can be sorted as followed: northwestern (0.427), southwestern (0.353), eastern (0.346), middle (0.253), southern (0.192), northern (0.190), northeastern (0.143) China. This may be related to the intra-regional difference in industrial structure. For example, in the period been investigated, the eastern China experienced increasing labor force cost, which leaded to a back-flow of labor force from the eastern to the western areas. Secondly, the standard error of coupling coordination degree of cities within 7 main national regions was increased, which implied an accelerated flow of labor force in these regions. Especially, the value in the eastern China increased from 0.367 to 0.410, which may be related to economic development periods, while the value in southwestern China decreased from 0.410 to 0.377, in the northeastern China the value increased from 0.365 up to 0.453, which may also be reflection of its economic situation.Thirdly, percentage of low-skilled labor force, urban income level and urban size were positively related, which showed that the larger the city was, the greater positive effect would be expanding low-skilled labor force scale on urban income. This finding may suggest that, in current period of urbanization in China, expanding the population of low-skilled labor force in middle and large cities can be beneficial for increasing of urban wage level.

Key words: skill complementarity, income level, worker’s income, urbanization

CLC Number: 

  • F291.1