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Return Migration and Occupational Change


  • Nadeem Ilahi


Return migrants exhibit a high tendency for self‐employment over waged employment. Using cross‐ sectional data from Pakistan, the paper explores the determinants of this choice. Retirement from the domestic labor market is not a reason for opting for self‐employment. The preference for non‐farm self‐employment is a two‐period process of self‐selection. Migrants who expect to switch occupation to non‐farm self‐employment upon return save more from high transitory overseas income than do their counterparts. Upon return, savings become a significant factor in the choice of self‐employment over waged employment. International migration and return have little influence on the choice of farm self‐employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Nadeem Ilahi, 1999. "Return Migration and Occupational Change," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 170-186, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:3:y:1999:i:2:p:170-186
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9361.00059

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