John Giles

Associate Professor

(Currently On Leave)

Department of Economics

Michigan State University

110 Marshall-Adams Hall

East Lansing, MI   48824-1038

Tel:  (517) 355-7755

Fax: (517) 432-1068




Senior Labor Economist

Development Research Group

The World Bank

Mail Stop MC 3-311

1818 H Street, NW

Washington, DC 20433

Tel: (202) 473-3451

FAX:  (202) 522-1154




Other Affiliations


Research Fellow. Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). Bonn, Germany. (Link to author website at IZA.)


Academy Scholar. Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 2001-2003.


Research Papers Published or Forthcoming

Income Inequality During China’s Economic Transition, with Dwayne Benjamin, Loren Brandt and Sangui Wang. Chapter 18 in China's Great Economic Transformation, Loren Brandt and Thomas Rawski, editors. Cambridge University Press (June 2008) (July 2005 Version).

Precautionary Behavior, Migrant Networks and Household Consumption Decisions:  An Empirical Analysis Using Household Panel Data from Rural China, with Kyeongwon Yoo. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 89(3) (August 2007): 534-551. Final Version.

Elderly Parent Health and the Migration Decision of Adult Children: Evidence from Rural China, with Ren Mu. Demography 44(2) (May 2007): 265-288. Complete October 2006 Revision. October 2006 Revision: Main Paper Only. October 2006 Appendix Materials. IZA Discussion Paper No. 2333.

How Well Do Children Insure Parents Against Low Retirement Income? An Analysis Using Survey Data from Urban China, with Fang Cai and Xin Meng. Journal of Public Economics 90(12) (December 2006): 2229-2255. Final Version (April 2006) ; Supplementary Appendix.

Is Life More Risky in the Open?  Household Risk-Coping and the Opening of China’s Labor Markets, Journal of Development Economics, 81(1) (October 2006): 25-60. Final Version (February 2005).

Reemployment of Dislocated Workers in Urban China: The Roles of Information and Incentives, with Albert Park and Fang Cai, Journal of Comparative Economics 34(3) (September 2006): 582-607. Final Version (June 2006).

How has Economic Restructuring Affected China’s Urban Workers?, with Albert Park and Fang Cai. China Quarterly, 185 (March 2006): 61-95.

The Evolution of Income Inequality in Rural China, with Dwayne Benjamin and Loren Brandt. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 53(4) (July 2005): 769-824. Final Version (December 2004). Additional materials:  English language documentation on NBS in-kind income valuation procedures [NBS-Inkind].  Original Chinese Langauage documentation [NBS-Inkind-Chinese].

What is China’s True Unemployment Rate? with Albert Park and Juwei Zhang. China Economic Review, 16(2) (June 2005): 149-170. Final Version (October 2004).

Competition Under Credit Rationing: Theory and Evidence from Rural China, with Albert Park and Loren Brandt.  Journal of Development Economics 71(2) (August 2003): 463-495. Final Version (May 2002).

Leaving China's Farms: Survey Results of New Paths and Remaining Hurdles to Rural Migration, with Scott Rozelle, Guo Li, Minggao Shen and Amelia Hughart, China Quarterly 158 (June 1999): 367-393.


Working Papers

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Disruptions to Education, and Returns to Schooling in Urban China (July 2008 version), with Albert Park and Meiyan Wang. WB Policy Research Working Paper No. 4729 (September 2008).

Migrant Labor Markets and the Welfare of Rural Households in the Developing World: Evidence from China (June 2008 revision), with Alan de Brauw. WB Policy Research Working Paper No. 4585.

Inequality and Growth in Rural China: Does Higher Inequality Impede Growth? with Dwayne Benjamin and Loren Brandt. (June 19, 2006 revision). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2344.

Migrant Opportunity and the Educational Attainment of Youth in Rural China (June 2008 revision), with Alan de Brauw. IZA Discussion Paper No. 2326 (September 2006 version).

Chronic and Transient Poverty: Measurement and Estimation, with Evidence from China, with Jean-Yves Duclos and Abdelkrim Araar, IZA Discussion Paper No. 2078.


The China Urban Labor Survey


Survey Protocol and Introduction


Survey Instruments:



Urban Individual


Migrant Individual






China Adult Cognitive Ability Survey


The Research Center for Rural Economy Household and Village Panel and Supplemental Surveys (with links to translated instruments and variable lists).