Community Services and Out-Migration

Publication Abstract

Massey, Douglas S., Nathalie E. Williams, William G. Axinn, and Dirgha J. Ghimire. 2010. "Community Services and Out-Migration." International Migration 48(3):1-41.

This paper investigates the relationship between changing community context and out-migration in one of today’s poor countries, seeking to document the various mechanisms by which infrastructure affects the migratory behavior. We focus on the expansion of social and physical facilities and services near to rural people’s homes, including transportation, new markets, employment, schools, health clinics, and mass media outlets such as movie halls. We draw upon detailed data from Nepal to estimate the hypothesized effects. The direct effects of expanding economic and human capital infrastructure are clearly negative, reducing out-migration. However, increased economic infrastructure is associated with a greater accumulation of human and social capital among respondents and their parents. Through these intervening mechanisms, economic and social infrastructure increased the odds of migrating out. These results reveal the often countervailing nature of short- and long-term effects of economic and social change and the complex pathways influencing migration outcomes.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2435.2009.00581.x

PMCID: PMC3146299