Agricultural Development Economics


Demystifying the link between migration and development informs policy
FAO Agricultural Development Economics Policy Brief 12
The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) Team, FAO
Publication date
Contrary to popular belief, development is more likely to increase rather than reduce emigration from countries at lower levels of income. The notion that better economic opportunities at home will reduce the incentive to migrate ignores what happens when development actually occurs: aspirations change, education levels improve, and financial constraints to migration become less binding. The net impact of these factors on emigration will vary depending on the development path taken by country. Providing attractive alternative opportunities for prospective rural migrants where they reside, such as through a territorial development approach that focuses on rural–urban linkages, is one way to reduce out-migration to overburdened larger cities and possibly international migration as well.