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The incentive for rural to urban migration: a re-examination of the Harris-Todaro model


  • Richard Agesa


An attempt is made to provide a more accurate measure of the incentive for rural to urban migration in developing countries. The study uses data from Kenya to estimate the urban to rural wage gap and then decomposes the gap into the portion due to differences in explained characteristics of rural non-migrant workers and migrant urban workers, and the portion due to returns to observed attributes. The results suggest that the returns to observable attributes constitute the largest portion of the wage gap, and may offer a more accurate measure of the incentive for rural to urban migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Agesa, 2000. "The incentive for rural to urban migration: a re-examination of the Harris-Todaro model," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 107-110.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:7:y:2000:i:2:p:107-110
    DOI: 10.1080/135048500351924

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    Cited by:

    1. Raghbendra Jha & John Whalley, 2003. "Migration and Pollution," Departmental Working Papers 2003-07, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    2. Khan, M. Ali Khan, 2007. "The Harris-Todaro Hypothesis," MPRA Paper 2201, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Wayne Edwards & Lee Huskey, 2014. "The search goes on: Parameter effects on the return migration decision," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 11(1), pages 79-89, January.

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