DP7759 Migration and Economic Mobility in Tanzania: Evidence from a Tracking Survey

Author(s): Kathleen Beegle, Joachim De Weerdt, Stefan Dercon
Publication Date: March 2010
Keyword(s): Africa, growth, migration, tracking survey
JEL(s): O12, O15, R23
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7759

This study explores to what extent migration has contributed to improved living standards of individuals in Tanzania. Using a 13-year panel survey, the authors find that migration between 1991 and 2004 added 36 percentage points to consumption growth. Although moving out of agriculture resulted in much higher growth than staying in agriculture, growth was always greater in any sector if the individual physically moved. As to why more people do not move give high returns to geographical mobility, analysis finds evidence consistent with models in which exit barriers set by home communities prevent the migration of some categories of people.