Household Vulnerability and Population Mobility in Southwestern Ethiopia

David P. Lindstrom, Brown University
Heather F. Randell, Brown University

We examine the relationship between household vulnerability to economic and environmental shocks and the risk of local mobility, internal migration, and international migration among adults ages 16-69 in a sample of 3,695 households in southwestern Ethiopia. We use longitudinal survey data from two points in time to define recent migration and household exposure to environmental, health, and income shocks. Results from logistic regression models indicate that households that experience shocks utilize internal migration as a strategy to reduce demand on food and resources rather than as a strategy for income maximization or risk diversification. Results from logistic regression models predicting remittances among internal and international migrants are consistent with this interpretation. Migrants from households that experienced crop loss or failure or the loss of livestock are substantially less likely to remit home than migrants from households not experiencing agricultural shocks.

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Presented in Session 5: International and Internal Migration in Developing Countries