Individual Ability and Selection into Migration in Kenya
AbstractThis study exploits a new longitudinal dataset to examine selective migration among 1,500 Kenyan youth originally living in rural areas. We examine whether migration rates are related to individual “ability”, broadly defined to include cognitive aptitude as well as health, and then use these estimates to determine how much of the urban-rural wage gap in Kenya is due to selection versus actual productivity differences. Whereas previous empirical work has focused on schooling attainment as a proxy for cognitive ability, we employ an arguably preferable measure, a pre-migration primary school academic test score. Pre-migration randomized assignment to a deworming treatment program provides variation in health status. We find a positive relationship between both measures of human capital (cognitive ability and deworming) and subsequent migration, though only the former is robust at standard statistical significance levels. Specifically, an increase of two standard deviations in academic test score increases the likelihood of rural-urban migration by 17%. Accounting for migration selection due to both cognitive ability and schooling attainment does not explain more than a small fraction of the sizeable urban-rural wage gap in Kenya, suggesting that productivity differences across sectors remain large.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its series Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) with number HDRP-2009-45.
Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision: Sep 2009
Publication status: Published as background research for the 2009 Human Development Report.
Migration; selection; human capital; ability; urban-rural wage gap; productivity;
Other versions of this item:
- Miguel, Edward & Hamory, Joan, 2009. "Individual Ability and Selection into Migration in Kenya," MPRA Paper 19228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables
- C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-05-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2010-05-02 (Development)
- NEP-MIG-2010-05-02 (Economics of Human Migration)
- NEP-URE-2010-05-02 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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