Return Migration and Occupational Change

Review of Development Economics, January 31, 1998

Posted: 10 Jun 1998

See all articles by Nadeem Ilahi

Nadeem Ilahi

International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Return migrants exhibit a high tendency for self- over wage-employment. Using cross section data from Pakistan, the paper explores the determinants of this choice. Retirement from the domestic labor market is not a reason for opting for self-employment. The preference for non-farm self-employment is a two period process of self-selection. Migrants who expect to switch occupation to non-farm self-employment upon return save more from high transitory overseas income than their counterparts. At return, savings becomes a significant factor in the choice of self-employment over wage-employment. International migration and return have little influence on the choice of farm self-employment.

JEL Classification: J23, J24, J61

Suggested Citation

Ilahi, Nadeem, Return Migration and Occupational Change. Review of Development Economics, January 31, 1998. Available at SSRN:

Nadeem Ilahi (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

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