International Development Planning Review

Generational differences in internal migration: Derelict economies, exploitative employment and livelihood discontent

International Development Planning Review (2008), 30, (4), 377–398.

Abstract

This article seeks to identify the effect of generational forms of rural out-migration on livelihood diversification within Ghana's household economy, and their implication for development planning. The project employs questionnaires, interviews and focus group data to examine movement patterns, motivations and the role and effect of migration on a household's productive capacity and livelihood sustainability. The research shows how variation in rural out-migration can be explained by human agency: a combination of migrants' decision making, and institutional and demographic structural factors. The most common form of out-migration involves young household members. We argue that this migration pattern does not necessarily result in sustainable livelihood diversification or improvement in migrants' productive capacity. Instead, it is associated with abandonment, new forms of intergenerational and rural–urban inequality and further rural out-migration.

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Assan, Joseph Kweku