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Nathalie Williams and Christina Hughes Find that Material Aspirations May Influence Migration in Nepal

Posted: 1/14/2019 (CSDE Research)

CSDE Affiliate Nathalie Williams (Professor of International Studies & Sociology) and CSDE Trainee Christina Hughes (Sociology) co-authored an article in Demography that analyzes longitudinal data from Nepal to assess the influence of material aspirations on decisions to migrate and where to locate.

Using detailed continuous migration histories from the 2008–2012 Chitwan Valley Family Study, they estimate logistic and alternative-specific conditional logit models, and find strong evidence that material aspirations have large effects on overall rates of migration and affect destination-specific migration rates, particularly for relatively wealthy Western and Asian destinations. They also find an interaction effect between material aspirations and destination-specific expected earnings in influencing migration choices. It is the people with high aspirations who migrate to destinations with high earning potentials.

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