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Labour Migration as a Social Security Mechanism for Smallholder Households in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Cameroon

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  • Gertrud Schrieder
  • Beatrice Knerr

Abstract

Labour migration is traditionally considered to be a way of protecting household members at the migrant's place of origin from economic pitfalls by receipt of remittances. More recently, young urban migrants from rural regions have been observed to neglect their traditional obligations to support their elderly parents, especially if they do not intend to return to their native village, do not expect any sizeable inheritance and have no reciprocal insurance commitment with their parents. Under such circumstances, rural people are exposed to the risk of staying without support in times of economic crises or during their old age. This paper analyses the potential of migration with remittance strategies in stabilizing the income of rural households. The analytical results are based on a microeconomic survey from Cameroon in 1991/92. A Probit model is applied to analyse access to remittances and a Tobit model to look into their extent. A major result of this analysis is that migration with remittance strategies fails as a social security mechanism when the potential remitter does not expect any sizeable inheritance.

Suggested Citation

  • Gertrud Schrieder & Beatrice Knerr, 2000. "Labour Migration as a Social Security Mechanism for Smallholder Households in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Cameroon," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 223-236.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:28:y:2000:i:2:p:223-236
    DOI: 10.1080/713688309
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