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Internal migration and education: A cross-national comparison

Aude Bernard and Martin Bell

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Abstract: Migration the main process shaping patterns of human settlement within and between countries. It is widely acknowledged to be integral to the process of human development as it plays a significant role in enhancing educational outcomes. At regional and national levels, internal migration underpins the efficient functioning of the economy by bringing knowledge and skills to the locations where they are needed. It is the multi-dimensional nature of migration that underlines its significance in the process of human development. Human mobility extends in the spatial domain from local travel to international migration, and in the temporal dimension from short-term stays to permanent relocations. Classification and measurement of such phenomena is inevitably complex, which has severely hindered progress in comparative research, with very few large-scale cross-national comparisons of migration. The linkages between migration and education have been explored in a separate line of inquiry that has predominantly focused on country-specific analyses as to the ways in which migration affects educational outcomes and how educational attainment affects migration behaviour. A recurrent theme has been the educational selectivity of migrants, which in turn leads to an increase of human capital in some regions, primarily cities, at the expense of others. Questions have long been raised as to the links between education and migration in response to educational expansion, but have not yet been fully answered because of the absence, until recently, of adequate data for comparative analysis of migration. In this paper, we bring these two separate strands of research together to systematically explore links between internal migration and education across a global sample of 57 countries at various stages of development, using data drawn from the IPUMS database.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-mig and nep-ure
Date: 2018-12
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Published in UNESCO, 2018

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Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1812.08913