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The Role of Rural–Urban Migration in the Structural Transformation of Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • de Brauw, Alan
  • Mueller, Valerie
  • Lee, Hak Lim

Abstract

Rural-to-urban migration is an inherent part of the economic development process, yet it is relatively understudied in sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we attempt to describe the present state of rural–urban migration from several different angles. Migration rates are quite low in several countries, despite the fact that large proportions of populations continue to reside in rural areas, and that there are clearly several types of gains to migration. We offer a number of possible explanations for low migration rates. We make recommendations for improvements in research on rural–urban migration and migration policy in Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • de Brauw, Alan & Mueller, Valerie & Lee, Hak Lim, 2014. "The Role of Rural–Urban Migration in the Structural Transformation of Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 33-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:63:y:2014:i:c:p:33-42
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.10.013
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    1. Nga Thi Viet Nguyen & Felipe F. Dizon, 2017. "The Geography of Welfare in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, and Togo," World Bank Other Operational Studies 27994, The World Bank.
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    3. Ayenew, Habtamu Yesigat & Sauer, Johannes & Abate-Kassa, Getachew, 2016. "Rural Non-Farm Sector, Agricultural Self-Employment And Wage Employment In Agricultural Households: The Implications For Income And Risk In Rural Ethiopia," 56th Annual Conference, Bonn, Germany, September 28-30, 2016 244809, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    4. Zaneta Kubik, 2017. "Climatic variation as a determinant of rural-to-rural migration destination choice:Evidence from Tanzania," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 17037, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    5. Davis, Benjamin & Di Giuseppe, Stefania & Zezza, Alberto, 2017. "Are African households (not) leaving agriculture? Patterns of households’ income sources in rural Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 153-174.
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    7. Jayne, T. S. & Holtzman, John S. & Yeboah, Felix Kwame & Anderson, Jock R. & Oehmke, James F., 2016. "Agri-Food Systems and Youth Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Security International Development Working Papers 249276, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    8. repec:eee:agisys:v:160:y:2018:i:c:p:87-95 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:133-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Headey, Derek D. & Jayne, T.S., 2014. "Adaptation to land constraints: Is Africa different?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 18-33.
    11. Zaneta Kubik, 2017. "Climatic variation as a determinant of rural-to-rural migration destination choice: Evidence from Tanzania," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01599362, HAL.
    12. Marchiori, Luca & Maystadt, Jean-François & Schumacher, Ingmar, 2012. "The impact of weather anomalies on migration in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 355-374.
    13. Collier, Paul & Dercon, Stefan, 2014. "African Agriculture in 50Years: Smallholders in a Rapidly Changing World?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 92-101.
    14. Bhavnani, Rikhil R. & Lacina, Bethany, 2017. "Fiscal Federalism at Work? Central Responses to Internal Migration in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 236-248.
    15. King, Alan & Ramlogan-Dobson, Carlyn, 2015. "Is Africa Actually Developing?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 598-613.
    16. Hirvonen, Kalle & Lilleør, Helene Bie, 2015. "Going Back Home: Internal Return Migration in Rural Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 186-202.
    17. Isabelle Chort & Philippe De Vreyer & Thomas Zuber, 2017. "Gendered internal migration patterns in Senegal," Working Papers DT/2017/02, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
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