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Migration and technological change in rural households: complements or substitutes?

Mariapia Mendola ()

Departmental Working Papers from Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano

Abstract: In this paper we study the interrelationship between determinants of migration, conceived as a family strategy, and the potential impact of having a migrant household member on people left behind. Labour migration is often related to poverty but given its lumpy-investment nature, poverty may constitute a motivation to migrate as well as a constraint to do it. We use cross-sectional household data from two rural regions of Bangladesh to test whether migration is a form of income diversification strategy that significantly influences the risk-taking behaviour of source farm households in agricultural activities. We account for heterogeneity of migration constraints differentiating between domestic (temporary and permanent) and international moving destinations. We find that richer and large-holder households are more likely to participate in costly high-return migration (i. e. international migration) and employ modern technologies, thereby achieving higher productivity. Poorer households, on the other hand, are not able to overcome entry costs of moving abroad and fall back on migration with low entry costs, and low returns (i. e. domestic migration); the latter does not help them to achieve production enhancements and may act as a poverty-trap locking households into persistent poverty.

Keywords: Internal and International Migration; Farm Household Behaviour; Agricultural Production Choices. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 F22 O12 Q12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-01-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-agr, nep-dev, nep-geo, nep-ino, nep-lab and nep-tid
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