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Migration and Economic Mobility in Tanzania: Evidence from a Tracking Survey

  • Beegle, Kathleen

    ()

    (The World Bank)

  • De Weerdt, Joachim

    (EDI)

  • Dercon, Stefan

    (Oxford University)

This study explores the extent to which migration has contributed to improved living standards of individuals in Tanzania. Using longitudinal data on individuals, the authors estimate the impact of migration on consumption growth between 1991 and 2004. The analysis addresses concerns about heterogeneity and unobservable factors correlated with both income changes and the decision to migrate. The findings show that migration adds 36 percentage points to consumption growth, during a period of considerable growth in consumption. These results are robust to numerous tests and alternative specifications. Unpacking the findings, the analysis finds that moving out of agriculture is correlated with much higher growth than staying in agriculture, although growth is always higher in any sector if one physically moves. Economic mobility is strongly linked to geographic mobility. The puzzle is why more people do not move if returns to geographic mobility are high. The evidence is consistent with models in which exit barriers are set by home communities (through social and family norms) that prevent migration of certain categories of people.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4798.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4798
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  1. Joachim De Weerdt, 2010. "Moving out of Poverty in Tanzania: Evidence from Kagera," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 331-349.
  2. McKenzie, David & Sasin, Marcin J., 2007. "Migration, remittances, poverty, and human capital : conceptual and empirical challenges," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4272, The World Bank.
  3. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Talip Kilic & Calogero Carletto & Benjamin Davis & Alberto Zezza, 2009. "Investing back home," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(3), pages 587-623, 07.
  5. Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2003. "Payoffs from Panels in Low-Income Countries: Economic Development and Economic Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 112-117, May.
  6. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, 06.
  7. Gabriel Demombynes & Johannes G. Hoogeveen, 2007. "Growth, Inequality and Simulated Poverty Paths for Tanzania, 1992--2002," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(4), pages 596-628, August.
  8. Kilic, Talip & Carletto, Calogero & Davis, Benjamin & Zezza, Alberto, 2007. "Investing back home : return migration and business ownership in Albania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4366, The World Bank.
  9. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-26, August.
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