Seeking Opportunities: Migration as an Income Diversification Strategy of Households in Kakamega District in Kenya
Migration and remittances are widely seen as major components of diversification strategies aimed at coping with risky environments in developing countries. The debate in the literature mainly concentrates on effects of and access to the strategy of migration. Against this background, the paper investigates patterns, determinants and the impact of internal migration on households based on data from a densely populated rural area in Western Kenya. The motivation behind migration is largely economic in kind. Accordingly, remittances account for a substantial share of household incomes. Results derived from a probit model estimation indicate that the likelihood of migration is independent from the wealth position of households. Instead, demographic household factors, education-related variables and migrant networks are of central importance. Migration and remittances are obviously more easily accessible than other opportunities of income diversification beyond farming for households across all levels of wealth, including the poorest households.
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