Household Migration Decisions as Survival Strategy: The Case of Burkina Faso

The paper examines the basic determinants behind the process of migration from Burkina Faso to Cote d’Ivoire. It uses a detailed household survey dataset on migration, natural resource management, risk management and solidarity collected in 2000 and 2002 in Northeastern Burkina Faso. In addition, two other village and institutional level surveys were conducted. The methodology emphasizes the link between economic theories and empirical evidence, using econometric tools that are robust to the selection bias. This enables to investigate the specificities of the seasonal migration and to estimate migration incomes. The structural model of migration decision revealed the importance of migration as a mere survival strategy in the study regions. Results showed that even under the pessimistic scenario where the direct benefits of the regional integration program would go exclusively to the leading economy, households in the Sahel may benefit from an increased economic attractiveness of this destination. Owing to the fact that the migration is seasonal, the increased migration will translate into higher liquidity that enables households to overcome credit and insurance market failures and invest in their main agro pastoral activities. Additionally, the role of the unsecured livestock activity acts as an impediment to migration of the pastoralist groups. The study recommended the development of policies that address security issues through well-functioning rural labor market institutions and enforceable rules regarding shepherd contracts. It is also important to enforce regional laws regarding the free movement of labor.

Issue Date:
Apr 03 2006
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
Total Pages:
Series Statement:
ZEF – Discussion Papers on Development Policy No. 105

 Record created 2018-09-14, last modified 2018-09-14

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