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Seeking Opportunities: Migration as an Income Diversification Strategy of Households in Kakamega District in Kenya

Author

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  • Lena Giesbert

    () (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lena Giesbert, 2007. "Seeking Opportunities: Migration as an Income Diversification Strategy of Households in Kakamega District in Kenya," GIGA Working Paper Series 58, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:58
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    File URL: http://repec.giga-hamburg.de/pdf/giga_07_wp58_giesbert.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lay, Jann & Mahmoud, Toman Omar & M'Mukaria, George Michuki, 2008. "Few Opportunities, Much Desperation: The Dichotomy of Non-Agricultural Activities and Inequality in Western Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2713-2732, December.
    2. Nguyen, Loc Duc & Raabe, Katharina & Grote, Ulrike, 2015. "Rural–Urban Migration, Household Vulnerability, and Welfare in Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 79-93.
    3. Michael Clemens and Timothy N. Ogden, 2014. "Migration as a Strategy for Household Finance: A Research Agenda on Remittances, Payments, and Development- Working Paper 354," Working Papers 354, Center for Global Development.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; remittances; income diversification; coping strategies; sub-Saharan Africa; Kenya.;

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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