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postgraduate thesis: Public old-age pension provisions for rural migrant workers in China: an analysis of the policy making process

TitlePublic old-age pension provisions for rural migrant workers in China: an analysis of the policy making process
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Chow, NWSMok, KH
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
AbstractAcknowledging the population aging trend, the urbanization process, and also the old-age security challenges facing rural migrant workers, this study sets out to explore and make theoretical sense of the pension policy process for rural migrant workers, through a case study in Beijing. Applying the stage model of the policymaking process, and an equitable-effective-efficient evaluative framework, an inquiry frame is constructed to formulate research questions theoretically and to facilitate the whole study. Mixed methods integrating quantitative and qualitative research were adopted to achieve the stated purpose. The secondary data yielded by a random sampling survey (N=3,024) were employed to provide a contextual base, and to examine what factors are influencing rural migrant worker choices and participation in pension schemes, through a multivariate Probit regression method. The effect of pension program on consumption smoothing and income redistribution, reflected by pension replacement rates, are explored through actuarial models. Based on the findings of a quantitative study, semi-structured, in-depth interviews were carried out with 22 rural migrant workers, 6 governmental officials, 5 scholars and 5 human resource managers in Beijing. Through prolonged immersion in the research site, qualitative research further addresses the mechanisms and factors functioning within the policymaking process. Merging mixed methods utilizing the stages model of policy process, this study has been able to make discoveries not reported in previous studies. This study is of considerable significance, as it contributes novel insights and concepts into understanding the dynamics of the policy process in the case study of rural migrant worker pension provision in China. First, in response to the inquiry frame, it establishes an analytical framework to uncover the underlying policymaking process, as well as the mechanisms and factors functioning within each stage. In the agenda setting stage, it is the central government which can initiate the agenda setting process for rural migrant workers. At the same time, however, local governments are driven by their own interests and compelled by the central government’s desire to get pension issues on the agenda. It is indicated that decentralization, centralization and incrementalism are functioning together in policy formulation and adoption. From both the micro and macro perspectives, this study identifies what factors are contributing to the gap between policy design and implementation. Guided by a preset three-Es framework, the whole policy process and its (potential) impacts are evaluated. Second, throughout the whole study, an interest is displayed through its analysis in rural migrant workers' situations, needs and opinions. It is found that governments are playing an overwhelmingly decisive role in policy making, that rural migrant workers' voices are largely unheard, and that powers are concentrated in unrepresentative hands. Policy suggestions on moving toward a democratic policy process are then discussed. Finally, this study further proposes a package of concrete policy implications to systematically address these practical policy issues. This package mainly covers the household registration system, the sandwich generation, preservation of pension rights, policy transparency and publicity, policies being moderately mandated, and particular social welfare programs.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectMigrant agricultural laborers - China - Beijing - Social conditions.
Old age pensions - China - Beijing.
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorChow, NWS-
dc.contributor.advisorMok, KH-
dc.contributor.authorGuo, Yu-
dc.contributor.author郭瑜-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.description.abstractAcknowledging the population aging trend, the urbanization process, and also the old-age security challenges facing rural migrant workers, this study sets out to explore and make theoretical sense of the pension policy process for rural migrant workers, through a case study in Beijing. Applying the stage model of the policymaking process, and an equitable-effective-efficient evaluative framework, an inquiry frame is constructed to formulate research questions theoretically and to facilitate the whole study. Mixed methods integrating quantitative and qualitative research were adopted to achieve the stated purpose. The secondary data yielded by a random sampling survey (N=3,024) were employed to provide a contextual base, and to examine what factors are influencing rural migrant worker choices and participation in pension schemes, through a multivariate Probit regression method. The effect of pension program on consumption smoothing and income redistribution, reflected by pension replacement rates, are explored through actuarial models. Based on the findings of a quantitative study, semi-structured, in-depth interviews were carried out with 22 rural migrant workers, 6 governmental officials, 5 scholars and 5 human resource managers in Beijing. Through prolonged immersion in the research site, qualitative research further addresses the mechanisms and factors functioning within the policymaking process. Merging mixed methods utilizing the stages model of policy process, this study has been able to make discoveries not reported in previous studies. This study is of considerable significance, as it contributes novel insights and concepts into understanding the dynamics of the policy process in the case study of rural migrant worker pension provision in China. First, in response to the inquiry frame, it establishes an analytical framework to uncover the underlying policymaking process, as well as the mechanisms and factors functioning within each stage. In the agenda setting stage, it is the central government which can initiate the agenda setting process for rural migrant workers. At the same time, however, local governments are driven by their own interests and compelled by the central government’s desire to get pension issues on the agenda. It is indicated that decentralization, centralization and incrementalism are functioning together in policy formulation and adoption. From both the micro and macro perspectives, this study identifies what factors are contributing to the gap between policy design and implementation. Guided by a preset three-Es framework, the whole policy process and its (potential) impacts are evaluated. Second, throughout the whole study, an interest is displayed through its analysis in rural migrant workers' situations, needs and opinions. It is found that governments are playing an overwhelmingly decisive role in policy making, that rural migrant workers' voices are largely unheard, and that powers are concentrated in unrepresentative hands. Policy suggestions on moving toward a democratic policy process are then discussed. Finally, this study further proposes a package of concrete policy implications to systematically address these practical policy issues. This package mainly covers the household registration system, the sandwich generation, preservation of pension rights, policy transparency and publicity, policies being moderately mandated, and particular social welfare programs.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48329617-
dc.subject.lcshMigrant agricultural laborers - China - Beijing - Social conditions.-
dc.subject.lcshOld age pensions - China - Beijing.-
dc.titlePublic old-age pension provisions for rural migrant workers in China: an analysis of the policy making process-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4832961-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4832961-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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