We study the deep determinants of occupational choice, with a focus on what appears to be a particularly profitable pathway out of poverty, overseas labor migration. To what extent is this choice constrained by access to economic resources, in contrast to variation in preferences, or perceived costs of migration? We use previous migration choices as an indicator of preferences for migration. We find that early in-migrants to the frontier area we study have more labor migrants today. This indicates that in-migrants need a generation to settle in the new location. Present occupational choice is also restricted by predetermined landholdings.


Magnus Hatlebakk

Senior Researcher; Coordinator: Poverty Dynamics