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Internal migration in Ghana: determinants and welfare impacts

Charles Ackah and Denis Medvedev

International Journal of Social Economics, 2012, vol. 39, issue 10, 764-784

Abstract: Purpose - Using a recently compiled dataset on migration and remittances in Ghana, the purpose of this paper is to estimate the determinants of an individual's likelihood to be an internal migrant and the relationship between internal migration and welfare. Design/methodology/approach - The paper uses treatment regression techniques to assess the characteristics of Ghanaian migrants, the determinants of migration, and its impact on household welfare. Findings - The paper finds that the likelihood to migrate is determined by a combination of individual (pull) and community-level (push) characteristics. The probability of migration is higher for younger and more educated individuals, but communities with higher levels of literacy, higher rates of subsidized medical care, and better access to water and sanitation are less likely to produce migrants. It is found that households with migrants tend to be better off than similar households without migrants, even after controlling for the fact that households with migrants are a non-random sample of Ghanaians. However, the positive relationship is only true for households with at least one migrant in urban areas. Research limitations/implications - Clearly, if the authors had access to panel data, they would have been able to do something very nice and clean (on both theoretical and econometric grounds). Originality/value - This paper adds to the Ghana migration literature by offering a novel empirical assessment of the characteristics of Ghanaian migrants, the determinants of migration, and its impact on household welfare by drawing on a recently-assembled, nationally-representative sample of Ghanaian households.

Keywords: Migration; Welfare; Ghana (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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