Dr Yu Chen


Dr Yu Chen is Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield. She obtained BSc from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, two MSc from Fudan University and the University of Oslo, Norway, and PhD in Urban Studies from the University of Glasgow. Her PhD thesis examines labour market experience of migrants in China using both qualitative and quantitative data from fieldwork in Shanghai.

Research interests

Her research interests are in China’s urbanisation and rural-to-urban migration, city development, urban labour market and housing. China is experiencing the largest migration wave in human history, with hundreds of millions of people moving from the countryside to cities to seek better life. She is interested in the social, economic, spatial and environmental consequences of such massive urbanisation.

In her previous projects, she worked on migrants’ social integration in cities, and the extent to which their choices and constraints in labour and housing markets influence integration.

She is currently working on two ESRC-funded research projects. One is a collaborative project with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the University of Glasgow, on ‘Urban Development, Migration, Segregation and Inequality’. The other one, entitled ‘Dynamics of Health & Environmental Inequalities in Hebei Province, China’, explores the relationships between urban develolpment and social-environmental justice.

Her current work is focused on migrants’ access to urban housing, the residential segregation between migrants and local residents, and their subjective wellbeing in Chinese cities.

She has published in international peer-reviewed journals such as Urban Studies, Housing Studies, Cities, Environmental and Planning B, Professional Geographer, Habitat International, Journal of Property Research, and Scottish Journal of Political Economy.