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Determinants of the Choice of Migration Destination

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  • Fafchamps, Marcel
  • Shilpi, Forhad

Abstract

This paper examines migrants' choice of destination conditional on migration. To this end, we design an empirical strategy which remedies both migration selection and unobserved heterogeneity problems. The study uses data from two rounds of Nepal Living Standard Surveys and a Population Census and examine how the choice of a migration destination is influenced by income differentials and other covariates. We find distance, population density, and social proximity to have a strong significant effect: migrants move primarily to proximate, high population density areas where many people share their language and ethnic background. Better access to amenities is significant as well. Differentials in average income across districts are significant in univariate comparisons but not once we control for other covariates. Differentials in consumption expenditures are statistically significant but smaller in magnitude than other determinants. It is differentials in absolute, not relative, consumption that seem to matter most to work migrants. Except for the latter, results are robust to different specifications and datasets.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7407.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7407

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Keywords: income differentials; migration; south Asia;

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References

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  1. David McKenzie & Steven Stillman & John Gibson, 2010. "How Important is Selection? Experimental VS. Non‐Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, 06.
  2. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2004. "Isolation and Subjective Welfare," Economics Series Working Papers 216, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2006. "Subjective Welfare, Isolation and Relative Consumption," CEPR Discussion Papers 6002, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2005. "Cities and Specialisation: Evidence from South Asia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 477-504, 04.
  5. Gordon Dahl, 1997. "Mobility and the Returns to Education: Testing A Roy Model With Multiple Markets," Working Papers 760, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Isaac Bayoh & Elena G. Irwin & Timothy Haab, 2006. "Determinants of Residential Location Choice: How Important Are Local Public Goods in Attracting Homeowners to Central City Locations?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 97-120.
  7. McCall, B P & McCall, J J, 1987. "A Sequential Study of Migration and Job Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 452-76, October.
  8. Timmins, Christopher, 2006. "Estimating spatial differences in the Brazilian cost of living with household location choices," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 59-83, June.
  9. Lori A. Beaman, 2012. "Social Networks and the Dynamics of Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Refugees Resettled in the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 128-161.
  10. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  11. Patrick Bayer & Shakeeb Khan & Christopher Timmins, 2008. "Nonparametric Identification and Estimation in a Generalized Roy Model," NBER Working Papers 13949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Borjas, George J & Bronars, Stephen G & Trejo, Stephen J, 1992. "Assimilation and the Earnings of Young Internal Migrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 170-75, February.
  13. Adams, Richard H, Jr, 1998. "Remittances, Investment, and Rural Asset Accumulation in Pakistan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(1), pages 155-73, October.
  14. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2002. "The spatial division of labor in Nepal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2845, The World Bank.
  15. George J. Borjas, 2006. "Native Internal Migration and the Labor Market Impact of Immigration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
  16. Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Migration, school attainment, and child labor : evidence from rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3945, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Development, agglomeration, and the organization of work," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 459-472.
  2. Zhiling Wang & Thomas de Graaff & and Peter Nijkamp, 2014. "Cultural Diversity and Cultural Distance as Choice Determinants of Migration Destination," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-066/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Mbaye, Linguère Mously, 2013. ""Barcelona or Die": Understanding Illegal Migration from Senegal," IZA Discussion Papers 7728, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Reprint of development, agglomeration, and the organization of work," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 765-778.
  5. Fukase, Emiko, 2013. "Foreign job opportunities and internal migration in Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6420, The World Bank.

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