JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2021, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (3): 606-617.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20210306

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The effect of transformation of resource-based cities on labor demand in China

DUAN Cun-ru(), ZENG Xian-gang()   

  1. School of Environmental Natural Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2019-11-08 Revised:2020-02-28 Online:2021-03-28 Published:2021-05-28
  • Contact: ZENG Xian-gang;


Resource industries can lead to over concentration of human capital within resource cities. Emerging industries thus can only find low-skilled employees when entering the city, which may cause labor demand reduction. This study examines whether transformation of resource-based cities affects labor demand. We investigate the impacts of National Plan for Sustainable Development of Resource-based Cities (2013-2020) in China. The impacts of this plan are estimated by combining propensity score matching with the difference-in-differences approach. We also use DDD method based on the cities' education level and rate of manufacture industry to find out the mechanism of the effects. We found that the labor demand of resource-based cities decreased by 6.9% due to urban transformation. Our estimation results also reveal that mature cities and declining cities have the main impacts on labor demand reduction. And the results show that cities with high education level and high rate of manufacture industry are less affected, which proves that the self-improvement mechanism of the resource sectors reduces the local labor demand.

Key words: transformation of resource-based cities, labor demand, industrial structure, propensity score matching, difference-in-differences