Is Relative Poverty Triggering Migration over and above Absolute Poverty: Evidence from Tajikistan

by Sabohat Sobirova


The link between migration and poverty has been thoroughly studied by many researchers. Migration is viewed as a remedy from poverty. In other words, individuals migrate in order to increase their absolute income and thereby improve financial situation of other members of their households. However, proponents of new economics of migration framework assert the importance of non-wage factors, including relative poverty, in formation of households’ migration decision. Relative poverty refers to individuals who consider themselves deprived when they compare own welfare with others’ within a certain social group. Therefore, migration is considered as a medium for increasing the status of households. This study examines the impact of relative poverty on migration decision of households using data obtained from Tajikistan Household Panel Survey conducted in 2011. Our results suggest that relative poverty increases the propensity to migrate.

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