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 University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19228.
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Migration; selection; human capital; ability; urban-rural wage gap; productivity;
Other versions of this item:
- Edward Miguel & Joan Hamory, 2009. "Individual Ability and Selection into Migration in Kenya," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-45, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Sep 2009.
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2009-12-19 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2009-12-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2009-12-19 (Development)
- NEP-LAB-2009-12-19 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2009-12-19 (Economics of Human Migration)
- NEP-URE-2009-12-19 (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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