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Does education motivate migration decision?

1. Introduction:
Migration is often considered an essential component of economic
development and social change. It is the hallmark of the rapid urbanization
process in Bangladesh. Broadly migration is a relocation of residence of various
duration and various natures.
Rural-urban migration has become both a major policy concern and a subject
of public debate in Bangladesh. Sometimes migration is regarded as a trend
factor of the expansion of economic growth and modernization. The study is
designed on rural-urban migration of Bangladesh and the importance of the
level of education on it. Actually there are many factors regarding the internal
migration in Bangladesh: respectively income, occupation, initial wealth
situation, landlessness, lack of employment opportunities, age , marital status,
influence of family members, family size, availability of jobs in the migrated
area etc. As here we are going to examine the important determinants of ruralurban migration and the magnitude of those determinants. In this perspective,
our study is relevant as level of education is one of the vital factors to induce
the people to migrate internally.
Different level of education in Bangladesh has a vast impact on migration
decision. As the probability of obtaining job in the developed area or outside of
the countryside is high, so people tend to migrate to the developed area. With
higher level of education holders in the countryside area, the perfect jobs are
not available for them. And these people expect a good job but because of
unavailability of jobs they tend to migrate.
Again the persons with low or no level of education has a tendency to migrate
to the developed area because they think that job opportunity is high and they
expect a better standard of living which can be met up by a higher wage or
income as well.
There exists a contradiction regarding the impact of individuals status of
education on migration decision. Several studies have cited a positive

relationship and the others have shown insignificant association. The study is
conducted based on this controversy and tries to identify the actual association
between them. We will use secondary data and logistic regression model to
analyze the data.
2. Background and significance:
The current study of internal migration in Bangladesh focusing on the
questions: does likelihood of migration decision vary for different level of
education? What are the other determinants of migration and how they
influence on migration decision?
Internal migration has generally been thought of as an urbanization
phenomenon, and the urbanization rate in Bangladesh has been quoted at
3.03% over the period from 1975 to 2009, and this is one of the highest
in the world (UNDESA-2009). It is worth noting that while there many papers
are qualitative in nature, and part of our purpose is to bring new insights
through the application of very basic analytical techniques using aggregate
A time series of life time internal migrants shows that migrants was 0.95
million which accounted for 2.31 percent of total population in 1951. This rose
to 6.56 million of migrants in 1982 which accounted for 7.39 percent of
population. The life time migrants found in 1991 population census is 10.44%.
However the estimated life time migration rate for the period 1982-1991 was
10.44 and for the period 1991-2004 was 9.34 percent.

Table-1: Distribution of rural to urban migration by sex, causes and direction,



Rural to Urban Total
Looking for Job
Getting Job

Both sex






In 1984 in-migration rate in rural area was 5.8 per thousand and in 2010 it was
22.2 per thousand populations. In urban areas in the year 1984 in-migration
was 14.5 per thousand and in 2010 the rate was 73.4 per thousand populations
(Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics-2010).
3. Literature review:
Internal migration was in fact considered a natural process in which the surplus
labor was withdrawn from the rural sector for supplying the manpower
needed for urban industrial growth.
There is a substantial research literature relating to links between education
and migration. Much of it has focused on the question of whether people with
higher levels of education are more likely to migrate. Empirical studies have
supported this prediction in many but not all contexts (Williams 2009).
In almost all of the countries studied, urban migrants were richer than rural
non-migrants, and in all of them, urban migrants had better education
indicators than rural non-migrants (Harttgen and Klasen, 2009). Their study
was conducted by calculating migration specific HDI (MHDI), which is the
arithmetic average of three dimension indices namely life expectancy index by
internal migration status, GDP index by internal migration status and education
index (adult literacy index & enrollment index) by internal migration status.
Chaudhury (1978) found that the overall education level of migrants is higher
than that of non-migrants and the propensity to migrate increase with the
increase in education beyond secondary level. Yasmeen (1990) and Nabi(1992)

suggests that migration takes places in Bangladesh regardless of educational

level because the association between the rate of migration and literacy has
not been statistically significant and there was a predominance of unskilled
and agricultural laborers among migrant.
It has been found that rural-urban migrants are relatively better educated than
the national population (Saleheen,1980).
3.2Income and asset holdings:
A great deal of the population mobility results from the family's survival and
adaptive strategies to maximize family income by allocating their labor to a
number of locations involved in diversified income earning activities(lewis, Fei
and Ranis and Todaro, 1995). They performed a qualitative analysis. Cameron
(2012), using Tobin model for a censored dependent variable (Tobin 1958),
have shown a strong correlation between migration status and wealth: more
recently arrived migrants are poorer than longer established migrants.
Migrants are not always the poorest in either their origin or destination
communities or initial differences in income after migrating may be made up
over time (de Haan, 2000). He made a qualitative analysis based on workshop
organinized by poverty research unit, university of Sussex 1998.
While the basic model implies a negative relationship between the level of
income in a given area and the rate of migration, research into this relationship
has produced mixed results (Courchene, 1970; Gormley, 1971; Greenwood,
The rapid growth of population and consequent landlessness along with other
factors of population displacement in the rural areas lead to rural
unemployment, which generates a growing flow of migrants. A number of
other studies in several settings find a positive effect of land ownership or
size of landholdings on migration (Massey and Espinosa, 1997; Mines and
Massey, 1985; Rozelle, Taylor and deBrauw, 1999). Here Rozelle used a
three stage least square method to find out the estimates.
Durand and Massey (1992) describe the contradictory negative and positive
findings regarding the effects of land ownership in the case of Mexico

U.S.migration. Massey estimated a series of models using ordinary least square


3.3Demographic characteristics:
In Bangladesh, out migration is higher among smaller and larger sized family.
The high rate among the small sized may be due to the presence of unrelated
or single individuals who generally represent the most mobile segment of the
population. The high rate among the large sized household may result either
from the pressure exerted by the families themselves for adequate support of
all the members (Chaudhury and Curlin,1975). They divided the populations
into two groups- group A (includes years and age sex specific rates) and group
B (marital structure, family structure, family size and occupation). Then they
divide the number of populations of in and out migrations for both two groups
by mid year populations and beginning year populations. It is a qualitative
Bhuyan, Khan and Ahmed (2001) conducted a study on rural-urban migration
using linear regression econometric model. Their purpose was to identify the
relevant factors that promote migration and have shown a positive association
between age and the decision to migrate. Also the marital status of the
principal migrant has a strong influence on the decision to migrate.
Rokib (2009) showed that religion, educational qualification and occupation
of the household head have positive direct effects on migration. He used a
standardized multiple regression analysis (using a standardized form of
dependent and predictor variables with mean zero and unit variance) in which
a chain of relationships among the variables, arranged in an orderly manner, is
examined through a series of regression equations.
The never married migrants are always in an advantageous position to migrate
because they are young and few family ties (Nabi, 1999).
Females migrate in the earlier age due to marriage, in middle age to join their
husbands and in older age to join the childrens family either as dependents or
as helping hands. Nabi (1992) concluded that males migrate in the earlier age
in search of job, in middle age due to changes in either occupation or work

place and in older age to return home after retirement. To conduct the study
he used the ordinary least square technique and variables was entered in a
predetermined order.
The proposed study is different from others in the point of view that we are
going to examine the actual relationship between different levels of education
a person may hold and how it affects his migration decision.
4. Research methods and analysis:
4.1 Theoretical ideas underlying the study:
Actually migration decision and its determining factors specially different levels
of education is of concern since it is apparent that people with higher
education level have a tendency of migrating either internally or
internationally because of high probability of obtaining job, opportunity to get
higher wages or income and better standard of living as well in the migrated
Several studies are conducted in this field. Our current study is based on the
following theories:
First, according to Harris and Todaro (1970), people with higher level of
education are more likely to migrate (within a country or internationally).
Second, according to Lewis (1954), economy is comprised of two sectors:
traditional backward sector (subsistence agriculture) and a developed modern
sector (urban-based manufacturing industry). Whereas the former exhibits
static, and with population growth, returns, the latter is dynamic, with
growing productivity. The widening productivity differential drives higher
wage and opportunities in the modern, urban-based sector, and hence rapid
and mass migration. The backward sector, where the marginal product of labor
is close to zero, possesses an abundant supply of workers.

4.2 Data to be used and collection method:

This is a socio-economic study and we are going to use secondary data from
Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2010 (HIES) to conduct the

research. A two stage stratified random sampling technique was followed in

drawing sample of HIES 2010 under the framework of Integrated Multipurpose
Sample (IMPS) design. In HIES-2010, 12240 households were selected where
7840 from rural area and 4400 from urban area.
4.3 Hypothesis to be tested:
a) Higher levels of education have a positive impact on rural to urban
b) Lower initial wealth condition of household stimulates migration decision.
c) Lower income of households promotes migration.
d) People with non-agro based occupation tend to migrate more.
e) Landless people migrate more for higher income probability in the cities

4.4 Variables:
A number of variables will be used using different information. Here is a set of
the names of variables as follows:
a) Individuals status of education: years of schooling
b) Income (monthly household income)
c) Land (farm size of the household)
d) Wealth (initial asset value)
e) Occupation: agro based and non-agro based
f) Decision of household to migration (migrate and do not migrate)
g) Family size
h) Age
i) Marital status
j) Natural disaster

k) Gender
4.5 Methods for data analysis:
In this paper, we focus on the major determinants of migration decision. To
analyze the result, we use the logistic regression model. Moreover, we will
follow the following econometric model:

+11Naturaldisasteri+ i
Here, occupation, marital status and gender variables are used as dummy and
i is the error term.

Occupation=1, if principal migrants occupation is agro based

=0, otherwise.
Marital status=1, if principal migrant is married
=0, otherwise.
Gender=1, if principal migrant is male
=0, otherwise.
5. Expected result:
The expected results of the proposed study are defined by the hypothesis. We
expect the probable results from the study as follows1. People with low and higher level of education will have higher tendency to
migrate whereas middle level of education holders have a little tendency.
2. Low income classes of people have higher tendency and high income classes
of people have lower tendency to migrate.
3. Landless people will migrate to urban sector for better job opportunity and
higher income probability.

4. Non agro-based occupation holders have higher probability to move from

rural to urban.

6. Policy implication and conclusion:

Money earned by migrants help their families to meet their needs for
subsistence and strengthen their resource base. Hence, migration can be
considered as a self-help strategy for poverty alleviation and betterment which
should be duly recognized and adequately utilized for sustainable development
of the country.
The results from this study have important policy implications. Migration is
considered as the means of urbanization and economic growth. Since
probability of migration is higher among no and low educated people, govt.
can take initiatives so that their skill can be developed (through technical
education) and thus through migration, they can stimulate economic growth.
Govt. has already taken strategy for the expansion of education. Higher
educated people migrate to urban more, and contribute to the development of
the economy.
For the balanced growth of the economy, urban and rural sector have to grow
at the same time and the same rate. So job opportunity should be created in
the rural sector to maintain balanced growth so that educated persons have
better opportunities to be employed in the rural areas.

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