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Determinants of the Choice of Migration Destination

  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Forhad Shilpi

This paper examines migrations'� 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.

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File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/2009-09text.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number CSAE WPS/2009-09.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:csae-wps/2009-09
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  1. Gordon Dahl, 1997. "Mobility and the Returns to Education: Testing A Roy Model With Multiple Markets," Working Papers 760, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Lori A. Beaman, 2012. "Social Networks and the Dynamics of Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Refugees Resettled in the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 128-161.
  3. McCall, B P & McCall, J J, 1987. "A Sequential Study of Migration and Job Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 452-76, October.
  4. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2008. "Subjective welfare, isolation, and relative consumption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-60, April.
  5. George J. Borjas, 2005. "Native Internal Migration and the Labor Market Impact of Immigration," NBER Working Papers 11610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Patrick Bayer & Shakeeb Khan & Christopher Timmins, 2008. "Nonparametric Identification and Estimation in a Generalized Roy Model," NBER Working Papers 13949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2006. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 2087, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2005. "Cities and Specialisation: Evidence from South Asia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 477-504, 04.
  9. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2002. "The spatial division of labor in Nepal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2845, The World Bank.
  10. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2006. "Isolation and Subjective Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 6001, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Isaac Bayoh & Elena G. Irwin & Timothy Haab, 2006. "Determinants of Residential Location Choice: How Important Are Local Public Goods in Attracting Homeowners to Central City Locations?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 97-120.
  12. Timmins, Christopher, 2006. "Estimating spatial differences in the Brazilian cost of living with household location choices," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 59-83, June.
  13. Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Migration, school attainment, and child labor : evidence from rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3945, The World Bank.
  14. Borjas, George J & Bronars, Stephen G & Trejo, Stephen J, 1992. "Assimilation and the Earnings of Young Internal Migrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 170-75, February.
  15. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  16. Adams, Richard H, Jr, 1998. "Remittances, Investment, and Rural Asset Accumulation in Pakistan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(1), pages 155-73, October.
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