Abstract: In this paper, we examine the impact of reductions in barriers to migration on the economic well-being of households in rural China. We find that increased migration from rural villages contributes to significant increases in consumption per capita, income per capita, non-durable consumption per capita and investment in housing and durable goods assets, and further, that the effects of migration are larger in magnitude for poorer households within villages. We do not find robust evidence, however, to support a connection between increased migration and investment in productive activity. Instead, migration is associated with two significant changes for poorer households: increases both in the total labor supplied to productive activities and in the land per capita managed by the household. In examining the effect of migration, we pay considerable attention to motivating, developing and evaluating our identification strategy.