Rural-Urban Migration in Developing Countries: A Survey of Theoretical Predictions and Empirical Findings

63 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2006

See all articles by Somik V. Lall

Somik V. Lall

World Bank

Harris Selod

National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA); National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST); The World Bank; Paris School of Economics (PSE); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Zmarak Shalizi

World Bank - Research Department

Date Written: May 1, 2006

Abstract

The migration of labor from rural to urban areas is an important part of the urbanization process in developing countries. Even though it has been the focus of abundant research over the past five decades, some key policy questions have not found clear answers yet. To what extent is internal migration a desirable phenomenon and under what circumstances? Should governments intervene and, if so, with what types of interventions? What should be their policy objectives? To shed light on these important issues, the authors survey the existing theoretical models and their conflicting policy implications and discuss the policies that may be justified based on recent relevant empirical studies. A key limitation is that much of the empirical literature does not provide structural tests of the theoretical models, but only provides partial findings that can support or invalidate intuitions and in that sense, support or invalidate the policy implications of the models. The authors' broad assessment of the literature is that migration can be beneficial or at least be turned into a beneficial phenomenon so that in general migration restrictions are not desirable. They also identify some data issues and research topics which merit further investigation.

Keywords: Rural Urban Migration, Survey Paper

JEL Classification: R23

Suggested Citation

Lall, Somik V. and Selod, Harris and Shalizi, Zmarak, Rural-Urban Migration in Developing Countries: A Survey of Theoretical Predictions and Empirical Findings (May 1, 2006). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3915. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=920498

Somik V. Lall (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/slall

Harris Selod

National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) ( email )

147, rue de l'Universite
Paris Cedex 07, 78-Yvelines 75338
France
+33 1 4313 6365 (Phone)
+33 1 4313 6362 (Fax)

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST)

15 Boulevard Gabriel Peri
Malakoff Cedex, 1 92245
France

The World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Zmarak Shalizi

World Bank - Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/zshalizi

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
3,168
Abstract Views
11,569
rank
3,314
PlumX Metrics