Choosing to Migrate or Migrating to Choose: Migration and Labour Choice in Albania
While sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction, and the management of migration flows are among the most pressing items on the policy agenda in Albania, very little systematic analysis exists of the income generating strategies of Albanian households within the emerging market economy, and how this relates to income dynamics, people’s mobility and poverty. Results show that agricultural, migration and human capital assets have a differential impact across livelihood choices, and that this impact varies by gender and age. Two areas of policy concern derive from this analysis. First, migration is clearly crucial for the economic future of Albania, both in terms of financing economic development, serving as an informal safety net, and in reducing excess labour supply and poverty. The suggestion of a potential disincentive effect on labour effort and participation is however worrying, as it would have implications in terms of missed opportunities for development. Second, agriculture appears to be more of a survival strategy than part of a poverty exit strategy.
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