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The Determinants of Interdistrict Labour In-migration in Pakistan, 1971-1980


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  • Andrew P. Barkley

    (Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.)


The movement of labour from one location to another in Pakistan has increased in recent years. This article begins by reviewing the previous literature pertinent to labour migration within Pakistan. Next, a migration equation at the aggregate level is specified, based on the expected socio-economic determinants of labour migration and data availability. Regression analysis was used to identify and quantify the determinants of interdistrict migration in Pakistan during the period 1971-1980. The results demonstrate that one of the major determinants of migration into a district was the percent of previous migrants nyi district's population. Interdistrict migration was also significantly associated with the socio-economic variables of urbanization, population density, and literacy rates. The research presented here provides evjdence that the movement of labour between districts in Pakistan is towards locations of superior socio-economic conditions. Migration was found to become more responsive to urbanization, population density, and literacy rates over time, and less responsive to previous migration over time. Given the huge increase in productivity in the agricultural sector brought about by the Green Revolution, the movement of workers out of agricultural areas and into industrial areas is expected to continue into the future. This rural-to-urban flow may be limited by the level of population density; crowded living conditions were found to be negatively associated with labour migration.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (1991)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 275-296

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:30:y:1991:i:3:p:275-296

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  1. Mohammad Irfan, 1986. "Migration and Development in Pakistan. Some Selected Issues," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 743-755.
  2. Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
  3. Yap, Lorene Y. L., 1977. "The attraction of cities : A review of the migration literature," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 239-264, September.
  4. Mohammad Irfan & Lionel Demery & Ghulam Mohammad Arif, 1983. "Migration Patterns in Pakistan: Preliminary Results from the PLM survey, 1979," PLM Project Reports 1983:6, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  5. Mundlak, Yair, 1979. "Intersectoral factor mobility and agricultural growth:," Research reports 6, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Nabi, Ijaz, 1984. "Village-end considerations in rural-urban migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 129-145.
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Cited by:
  1. Mahreen Mahmud & Tareena Musaddiq & Farah Said, 2010. "Internal Migration Patterns in Pakistan—The Case for Fiscal Decentralisation," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 49(4), pages 593–607.
  2. Ather Maqsood Ahmed & Ismail Sirageldin, 1993. "Socio-economic Determinants of Labour Mobility in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 32(2), pages 139-157.


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