Migration as Cause and Consequence of Aspirations

University of Oxford IMI Working Paper 57

24 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2012

See all articles by Mathias Czaika

Mathias Czaika

University of Oxford - Department of International Development

Marc Vothknecht

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Date Written: July 1, 2012

Abstract

This paper aims to disentangle the relationship between aspirations and migration by analysing why Indonesian internal migrants generally have higher aspirations when compared with non-migrants. We ask whether migrants have higher aspirations for improving their economic well-being, and whether this ‘capacity to aspire’ already existed before migration or is rather the result of the migration experience itself. Based on longitudinal information from three waves of the Indonesian Family and Life Survey (IFLS) between 1997 and 2007, we find robust evidence for migrants having higher individual aspirations than non-migrants already before they choose to migrate. About 70 per cent of the aspiration differential between future migrants and non-migrants can be explained by factors such as young age, education, or socio-economic background, which also affect the ‘capacity to realise’ migration; the residual, however, is due to a personal trait, i.e. a certain disposition to have higher aspirations. Beyond these systematic pre-migration differences in aspirations, we find that despite the fact that migration is economically beneficial for most migrants, migration further spurs aspiration gaps.

Keywords: internal migration, migration behaviour, aspirations, Indonesia

Suggested Citation

Czaika, Mathias and Vothknecht, Marc, Migration as Cause and Consequence of Aspirations (July 1, 2012). University of Oxford IMI Working Paper 57. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2130624 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2130624

Mathias Czaika (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Department of International Development ( email )

3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom
+44(0)1865 271533 (Phone)

Marc Vothknecht

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

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