LEWI Research

URBANIZATION, LABOUR AND MOBILITY WORKING GROUP  

Trade, capital and human mobility have been growing in volume globally. Simultaneously, urban centres have become magnets attracting labor, capital and commodity. Any analysis of society is incomplete without an examination of the relationship between urbanisation and types of mobility. This working group aims to generate knowledge to understand types of mobility in and out of urban centres, as well as connecting mobility to global production and value chains. Through these analyses, this working group purposes to provide evidence-based policy recommendations for global, regional, national and local policymakers to develop suitable governing and regulation frameworks to monitor and facilitate types of mobility globally.

 

 

RESEARCH TOPICS

  • Capital-Labor-Commodity mobility nexus
  • Rural-urban mobility dynamics
  • Global production and value chains
  • Migrant integration and social service landscape in urban centres in Asia

 

 

CONVENOR

  • Dr Kaxton SIU, Hong Kong Baptist University

 

 

KEY MEMBERS

  • Dr Jenny CHAN Wai-ling, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Professor CHENG Yuk-shing, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Dr Adam KL CHEUNG, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Professor CHOW Yiu-fai, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Dr HAO Pu, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Dr JIANG Jin, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Dr PENG Yinni, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Professor Charlotte YANG Chun, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Professor YOON In-Jin, Korea University
RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS
Temporary labor migration and skill transfer in Japan: Migration experiences and outcomes of technical intern trainees from Vietnam and China
Dr Kaxton SIU
We interviewed Vietnamese and Chinese technical intern trainees who went to Japan under Japan's Technical Intern Training Program (TITP). We showed how Vietnam's and China's temporary labor-export institutional arrangements differed, and contributed to the two countries’ intern trainees having varied migration experiences and outcomes. We also explored the reasons TITP failed to achieve its stated objective—international skill transfer. Guided by human capital theory, we attempt to make sense of the different migration expectations and experiences of Vietnamese and Chinese trainees under different institutional arrangements and contribute to the debate of temporary labor migration and international skill transfer. We argue that the government of a temporary migrant labor-sending country must exercise sufficiently good socio-technical infrastructural governance to steward labor-export policy and industrial policy to match national development goals in order to make international skill transfer possible.

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Work and Family Life among Migrant Factory Workers in China and Vietnam
Dr Kaxton SIU
Through on-site interviewing, a comparative study has been carried out about migrant factory workers in industrialised parts of China’s Guangdong province and in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. Even though China and Vietnam possess similar legacies of socialist transformation and have household registration regulations that restrict rural migrants’ access to urban social services and impede their settlement in cities, there exist marked differences in Guangdong and Ho Chi Minh City in migration patterns, factory work conditions and migrant worker family livelihoods. In particular, migrant families in Ho Chi Minh City largely stay intact and tend to settle there permanently, while married migrant workers in Guangdong normally need to split up their families and remain trapped in circular rural–urban migration. As shall be seen, the national and local governments play important roles in determining the inclusion or exclusion of migrants from urban life, the wages they are paid and their standard of living and, most important of all, their children’s access to education. Each of the two countries’ differences in implementing policies is examined and comparatively analysed. 

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Risk Perception, Preparedness, Behavioural Responses to Natural Disasters: A Case Study of Rooftop Dwellers in Hong Kong
Dr Kaxton SIU
This proposed research is part of a larger project that aims to explore Hong Kong residents' risk perception, preparedness and responses to natural disasters. This particular study focuses on the most vulnerable housing group susceptible to natural disasters: rooftop dwellers. While different types of safety problems have persistently plagued rooftop dwellers and the Hong Kong government has been making efforts to rehouse them, there is as yet no relevant disaster risk reduction (DRR) policy to prepare rooftop dwellers for natural disasters, e.g., heavy storms and typhoons. Nor are there any response and mitigation policies for the dwellers during and after disasters.   This study will utilize census materials and feature a survey of 500 representative subjects and in-depth interviews with 15 respondents. The findings will contribute to sensitizing existing literature on the global framework of natural disaster risk reduction in the context of highly urbanized societies and enable the Hong Kong government to identify the needs of the dwellers to formulate future DRR and social policies.

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Industrial Trainees from China and Vietnam in Japan: An Entry Point into the Key Issues of International Labour Migration and Skill Transfer
Dr Kaxton SIU
Industrial Trainees from China and Vietnam in Japan: An Entry Point into the Key Issues of International Labour Migration and Skill Transfer

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Chinese Investors in Vietnam and Cambodia and their Impact on Industrial Relations Systems and Labour Standards
Dr Kaxton SIU
Chinese Investors in Vietnam and Cambodia and their Impact on Industrial Relations Systems and Labour Standards

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