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Individual Migration as a Family Strategy: Young Women in the Philippines


  • Jennifer Lauby
  • Oded Stark


Migration behaviour by individuals, migration decisions and migration outcomes are not neutral to the needs and constraints facing the migrants' families who stay put. In this paper evidence from the Philippines is presented and analysed which suggests that the choice of migrant members and migration destination are largely determined by familial characteristics. Several interesting insights into the migration process are obtained. The standard human-capital approach explains the inverse relationship between the age of migrants and the propensity to migrate through the longer pay-off period facing the young. However, it is found that the young age of migrants can be explained by their greater amenability to familial income needs and familial manipulation. This amenability also seems to explain the preference for daughters over sons as migrants. Likewise, the initial labour-market performance of migrants is accounted for not, as in human-capital theory, by migrants' low skill levels but rather by familial needs which mandate participation in labour-market activities that secure certain if low short-run returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Jennifer Lauby & Oded Stark, 1988. "Individual Migration as a Family Strategy: Young Women in the Philippines," Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(3), pages 157-173.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rpstxx:v:42:y:1988:i:3:p:157-173
    DOI: 10.1080/0032472031000143596

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    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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