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Household Migration Decisions as Survival Strategy: The Case of Burkina Faso

  • Konseiga, Adama

    ()

    (Ministry of Tourism, Quebec)

The paper examines the motivations behind the important migration from Burkina Faso to Cote d'Ivoire, the economic pole in the West African Economic and Monetary Union. The paper uses a detailed household survey dataset on migration, natural resource management, risk management and solidarity collected in 2000 and 2002 in Northeastern Burkina Faso. In addition to the household survey, two other village and institutional level surveys were conducted. The methodology emphasizes the linkage between economic theories and empirical evidence, using econometric tools that are robust to the selection bias. It enables to study the specificities of the seasonal migration and estimate migration incomes. The structural model of migration decision revealed the importance of migration as a mere survival strategy in the study regions confronted with severe scarcity of natural resources. Results supported that even under the pessimistic scenario where the direct benefits of the regional integration program would go exclusively to the polar economy, households in the Sahel may still benefit from an increased economic attractiveness of this destination. First, because it is seasonal, the increased migration will translate into higher liquidity that enables households to overcome credit and insurance market failures and invest in their main agropastoral activities. Second, an interesting finding is also the role of the unsecured livestock activity as impediment to migration of the pastoralist groups. The study recommended the development of policies that address security issues through well-functioning rural labor market institutions and enforceable rules regarding shepherd contracts. It is also important to enforce regional laws regarding the free movement of labor.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1819.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of African Economies, 2007, 16 (2), 198-233
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1819
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  1. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1993. "International migration and international trade," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 851-887 Elsevier.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr91-1.
    • Robert J. Barro & Paul Romer, 1993. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr93-1.
  3. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  4. de la Briere, Benedicte & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain & Lambert, Sylvie, 2002. "The roles of destination, gender, and household composition in explaining remittances: an analysis for the Dominican Sierra," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 309-328, August.
  5. Kate Hampshire, 2002. "Fulani on the Move: Seasonal Economic Migration in the Sahel as a Social Process," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 15-36.
  6. Markusen, James R., 1983. "Factor movements and commodity trade as complements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 341-356, May.
  7. Stark, Oded, 2003. "Tales Of Migration Without Wage Differentials: Individual, Family, And Community Contexts," Discussion Papers 18743, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  8. repec:cdl:agrebk:677080 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman, 1992. "Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number borj92-1.
  10. Zhu, Nong, 2002. "The impacts of income gaps on migration decisions in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 213-230.
  11. Jacqueline Agesa & Richard Agesa, 1999. "Gender differences in the incidence of rural to urban migration: Evidence from Kenya," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 36-58.
  12. Reardon, Thomas & Matlon, Peter & Delgado, Christopher, 1988. "Coping with household-level food insecurity in drought-affected areas of Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(9), pages 1065-1074, September.
  13. Ghatak, Subrata & Levine, Paul & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 1996. " Migration Theories and Evidence: An Assessment," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 159-98, June.
  14. Hamilton, Bob & Whalley, John, 1984. "Efficiency and distributional implications of global restrictions on labour mobility : Calculations and policy implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 61-75.
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