The Moving Middle: Migration, Place Premiums and Human Development in Bolivia
AbstractOver half of Bolivian heads of household are lifetime migrants. This paper looks at the long term impact of internal migration over human development in Bolivia. Three issues frame these effects. First, twenty five years of rural to urban migration have transformed the demographic profile of Bolivian society. The new middle third is younger, more bilingual and better educated, with more access to social services than in the past. The poorest of the poor, however, did not migrate to the extent of the non-poor. Second, urban workers make approximately four times as much wages as identical workers in rural areas, controlling for age, ethnicity, and years of schooling. Two caveats dampen this place premium effect: schooling quality and informal insurance mechanisms that make migration more costly. Third, increases in human development can be associated to an “urbanization dividend” that made social services more accessible to first and second generation migrants over a twenty-five year period. Future increases in human development, however, are likely to depend on providing quality services and expanding socials services to the rural poor, rather on gains from urbanization. The key policy challenges of the future include both an expansion of services to the poorest of the poor in rural areas and breaking down discrimination barriers against women and indigenous people in urban labor markets.
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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-2009-46.
Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision: Sep 2009
Publication status: Published as background research for the 2009 Human Development Report.
Migration; human development; poverty; employment; schooling;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
- 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-LAB-2010-05-02 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LAM-2010-05-02 (Central & South America)
- NEP-MIG-2010-05-02 (Economics of Human Migration)
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