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Migration and the transition to adulthood in contemporary Malawi

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  • Beegle, Kathleen
  • Poulin, Michelle

Abstract

In many African countries, the timing of important life events -- such as school-leaving, first marriage, and entry into the labor market -- is thought to be strongly tied to migration. This paper investigates the relationship between major life events, household characteristics, and migration among adolescents and young adults in contemporary Malawi. The specific research questions are twofold. First, what are the socio-economic and demographic determinants of migration? Second, how do school attendance, first marriage, and employment-seeking relate to migration patterns? The study uses panel data collected from a survey designed specifically to explore socioeconomic and demographic aspects of youth transitions to adulthood and which tracked respondents as they moved to new dwellings. Among the sample, they find that moves are not uncommon, and the predominant reasons for moves are non-economic. Although historically ethnic traditions in this area have held that girls and women usually did not move upon marrying, the data show that women were more likely to move between survey rounds than boys and men, and that marriage was the main reason for doing so. Closer ties to the head of the household are associated with less movement for both women and men.

Suggested Citation

  • Beegle, Kathleen & Poulin, Michelle, 2012. "Migration and the transition to adulthood in contemporary Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6200, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6200
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stark, Oded & Bloom, David E, 1985. "The New Economics of Labor Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 173-178, May.
    2. Kathleen Beegle & Joachim De Weerdt & Stefan Dercon, 2011. "Migration and Economic Mobility in Tanzania: Evidence from a Tracking Survey," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 1010-1033, August.
    3. 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 905-926, August.
    4. Beegle, Kathleen & Filmer, Deon & Stokes, Andrew & Tiererova, Lucia, 2010. "Orphanhood and the Living Arrangements of Children in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 1727-1746, December.
    5. Mtika, Mike Mathambo, 2007. "Political economy, labor migration, and the AIDS epidemic in rural Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(12), pages 2454-2463, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Population Policies; Population&Development; Anthropology; Adolescent Health; Gender and Social Development;

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