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Determinants of the Choice of Migration Destination

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  • Fafchamps, Marcel
  • Shilpi, Forhad

Abstract

This paper examines migrants' choice of destination conditional on migration. To this end, we design an empirical strategy which remedies both migration selection and unobserved heterogeneity problems. The study uses data from two rounds of Nepal Living Standard Surveys and a Population Census and examine how the choice of a migration destination is influenced by income differentials and other covariates. We find distance, population density, and social proximity to have a strong significant effect: migrants move primarily to proximate, high population density areas where many people share their language and ethnic background. Better access to amenities is significant as well. Differentials in average income across districts are significant in univariate comparisons but not once we control for other covariates. Differentials in consumption expenditures are statistically significant but smaller in magnitude than other determinants. It is differentials in absolute, not relative, consumption that seem to matter most to work migrants. Except for the latter, results are robust to different specifications and datasets.

Suggested Citation

  • Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2009. "Determinants of the Choice of Migration Destination," CEPR Discussion Papers 7407, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7407
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    Cited by:

    1. Fukase, Emiko, 2013. "Foreign job opportunities and internal migration in Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6420, The World Bank.
    2. Luc Christiaensen & Joachim De Weerdt & Ravi Kanbur, 2017. "Cities, towns, and poverty: Migration equilibrium and income distribution in a Todaro-type model with multiple destinations," Working Papers 434, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Reprint of development, agglomeration, and the organization of work," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 765-778.
    4. Christiaensen, Luc & De Weerdt, Joachim & Kanbur, Ravi, 2016. "Urbanization and poverty reduction: the role of secondary towns in Tanzania," IOB Analyses & Policy Briefs 18, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
    5. Naqvi, Asjad & Monasterolo, Irene, 2019. "Natural Disasters, Cascading Losses, and Economic Complexity: A Multi-layer Behavioral Network Approach," Ecological Economic Papers 6914, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    6. Éric Rougier & Nicolas Yol, 2019. "The volatility effect of diaspora's location," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(6), pages 1796-1827, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Jean-François Maystadt & Valerie Mueller & Ashwini Sebastian, 2016. "Environmental Migration and Labor Markets in Nepal," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 417-452.
    9. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-41 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Development, agglomeration, and the organization of work," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 459-472.
    11. Linguère Mbaye, 2014. "“Barcelona or die”: understanding illegal migration from Senegal," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-19, December.
    12. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0705-z is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
    14. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:5:p:797-821 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Chen, Yiu Por (Vincent), 2015. "Fiscal Decentralization, Rural Industrialization, and Undocumented Labor Mobility in Rural China (1982-87)," IZA Discussion Papers 9024, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Ingelaere, Bert & Christiaensen, Luc & De Weerdt, Joachim & Kanbur, Ravi, 2018. "Why secondary towns can be important for poverty reduction – A migrant perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 273-282.
    17. Emiko Fukase, 2014. "Job Opportunities in Foreign Firms and Internal Migration in Vietnam," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 279-299, September.
    18. Chakra P. Acharya & Roberto Leon-Gonzalez, 2016. "International Remittances, Rural-Urban Migration, and the Quest for Quality Education: The Case of Nepal," GRIPS Discussion Papers 15-25, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    19. Carlos Villalobos Barría, 2012. "Internal Migration and its Impact on Reducing Inter-communal Disparities in Chile," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 220, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income differentials; migration; south Asia;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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