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The Socioeconomic and Health Status of Rural–Urban Migrants in Indonesia


Author Info

  • Budy P. Resosudarmo

    (SMERU Research Institute)

  • Asep Suryahadi
  • Raden Purnagunawan
  • Athia Yumna
  • Asri Yusrina


This paper seeks to answer whether or not ruralurban migrants make it, i.e. whether or not they are able to, at least, achieve a socioeconomic and health status similar to that of their nonmigrant counterparts living in the same city. Using specifically collected data on rural urban migration, this study finds that, after controlling for various characteristics, migrants household incomes are significantly higher than those of nonmigrants. They also have a significantly lower probability to be absolutely poor than nonmigrants. Their health performance and that of their children are also no different from the health status of nonmigrants. There is only weak, and not robust, evidence that children of migrants have a higher probability of being significantly underweight. Their childrens educational performances do not lag behind. In fact, for lifetime migrants, there is evidence that their childrens educational attainments are significantly better than those of nonmigrants children. Therefore it can be inferred that the process of rural-to-urban migration in Indonesia is not a harmful process. In fact, it has been found to be beneficial to the socioeconomic condition of the migrants. It is a way to provide a better life for poor rural people. To allow this process to happen naturally, the government needs to reduce unnecessary barriers to rural people who want to move to urban areas.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Development Economics Working Papers with number 23042.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eab:develo:23042

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Keywords: Indonesia; socioeconomic status; health; education;

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  1. Chun-Chung Au & Vernon Henderson, 2002. "How Migration Restrictions Limit Agglomeration and Productivity in China," NBER Working Papers 8707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. J. Edward Taylor & Scott Rozelle & Alan deBrauw, 1999. "Migration, Remittances, and Agricultural Productivity in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 287-291, May.
  3. Mihails Hazans, 2005. "Does Commuting Reduce Wage Disparities?," Labor and Demography 0509012, EconWPA.
  4. William T. Gavin, 1993. "Introduction," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 469-474.
  5. Robert Gibbs & John Cromartie, 2007. "Education's Effect on Poverty: The Role of Migration ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 437-445.
  6. Mazumdar, Dipak, 1976. "The Rural-Urban Wage Gap, Migration, and the Shadow Wage," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 406-25, November.
  7. Budy Resosudarmo & Ari Kuncoro, 2006. "The Political Economy of Indonesian Economic Reforms: 1983-2000," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 341-355.
  8. Goldsmith, Peter D. & Gunjal, Kisan & Ndarishikanye, Barnabe, 2004. "Rural-urban migration and agricultural productivity: the case of Senegal," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 33-45, July.
  9. Hill,Hal, 2000. "The Indonesian Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521663670, 9.
  10. Meng, Xin & Zhang, Junsen, 2001. "The Two-Tier Labor Market in Urban China: Occupational Segregation and Wage Differentials between Urban Residents and Rural Migrants in Shanghai," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 485-504, September.
  11. Manning,Chris, 1998. "Indonesian Labour in Transition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521594127, 9.
  12. Hong Lu & Shunfeng Song, 2006. "Rural Migrants' Perceptions of Public Safety Protections in Urban China: The Case of Tianjin," Chinese Economy, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 39(3), pages 26-41, May.
  13. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Danzer, Alexander M. & Dietz, Barbara & Gatskova, Ksenia & Schmillen, Achim, 2013. "Showing off to the new neighbors? Income, socioeconomic status and consumption patterns of internal migrants," Munich Reprints in Economics 20029, University of Munich, Department of Economics.


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