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Speaker examines migration's toll on China's elderly

Nov. 19, 2010

KALAMAZOO--The toll that migration from the country to the city is placing on China's aging population will be explored early next month when a visiting economist speaks as part of Western Michigan University's Werner Sichel Lecture Series.

Dr. John Giles, senior labor economist in the World Bank's Development Research Group, will speak from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, in Room 2028 of Brown Hall on "Rural to Urban Migration and the Well-Being of China's Rural Elderly."

Giles earned his doctoral degree in economics from the University of California at Berkley in 1999. At the World Bank, he serves on the human development and public services team.

Prior to joining the World Bank in May 2007, he spent two years as an Academy Scholar at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and six years on the faculty at Michigan State University.

His current research interests include the movement of labor from agricultural to non-agricultural work; internal migration and its impacts on households and communities; poverty traps; household risk-coping and risk-management behavior; population aging and retirement decisions in developing countries; and women's labor supply decisions in developing countries.

Giles has published widely on China in leading economics journals, including The Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Comparative Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change and China Economic Review.

The Sichel Series is organized by the WMU Department of Economics and named in honor of longtime WMU economics professor Dr. Werner Sichel, who retired in 2004. Now in its 47th year, the speaker series brings highly regarded economists to the area to discuss timely and important economic issues. The theme of this year's series is "Dragon vs. Eagle: The Chinese Economy and U.S.-China Economic Relations."

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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