Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation
The importance of absolute income and relative deprivation incentives is examined for internal and international migration in developing country households. Empirical results, based on Mexican village data, support the hypothesis that households' relative deprivation in the village reference group is significant in explaining migration by household members to destinations where a reference group substitution is unlikely and the returns to migration are high. Independent of relative deprivation, village households wisely pair their members with the labor markets in which the returns to their human capital are likely to be greatest. The results suggest that a specific type of migration constitutes a response to a specific configuration of variables, and the role of relative deprivation appears to differ for internal and international migration. Taking relative deprivation into account when studying migration is shown to have important implications for development policy. For example, economic development that does not redress intra-village income inequalities may become associated with more migration. Copyright 1991 by Royal Economic Society.
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Volume (Year): 101 (1991)
Issue (Month): 408 (September)
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