Ren Mu is an associate professor in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the Michigan State University in 2004. Prior to joining Texas A&M University in 2007, she worked as a consultant economist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank.

Her research is in applied development microeconomics. She has worked on such topics as rural-to-urban migration, consumption smoothing, population aging and elderly health, gender disparity, and public goods and poverty reduction. Her work has been published in Demography, Economics and Human Biology, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Food Policy, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Public Economics and Labour Economics.

Ren joined IZA as a Research Fellow in April 2012.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10640
Shuang Ma, Ren Mu

Land requisition has been an important process by which Chinese local governments promote urbanization and generate revenue. This study investigates the impacts of land requisition on farmers' decisions of labor allocation between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. We argue that, conditional on village fixed effects, land requisition can be explored as...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8630
published online, Dec 2017, in: American Journal of Agricultural Economics,

This paper investigates the impact of land tenure insecurity on the migration decisions of China's rural residents. A simple model first frames the relationship among these variables and the probability that a reallocation of land will occur in the following year. After first demonstrating that a village leader's support for...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7466
published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2015, 28, 631-657

The unprecedented large scale rural-to-urban migration in China has left many rural children living apart from their parents. In this study, we examine the impact of parental migration on the nutritional status of young children in rural areas. We use the interaction terms between wage growth in provincial capital cities...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6797

When social security is established to provide pensions to parents, their reliance upon children for future financial support decreases; and their need to save for retirement also falls. We use the expansion of pension coverage from the state sector to the non-state sector in urban China as a quasi-experiment to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2333
published in: Demography, 2007, 44 (2), 265 - 288

Recent research has shown that participation in migrant labor markets has led to substantial increases in income for families in rural China. This paper asks how participation is affected by elder parent health. We find that younger adults are less likely to work as migrants when a parent is ill....