Out of Africa: What Drives the Pressure to Emigrate?

Hendrik P. van Dalen, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
George Groenewold, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Jeannette Schoorl, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

This paper evaluates the strength of social and economic forces that affect the pressure to emigrate 'out of Africa' for four distinctly different African countries (Morocco, Egypt, Senegal and Ghana). In general, great expectations about attaining a higher living standard and expected low job search costs abroad are strong forces that drive emigration intentions out of Africa. Signs of positive selection with respect to the level of education of potential migrants are only present in Ghana and Egypt. Negative selection effects within the group of return migrants are present in Ghana and Egypt. The network effects of migrants turn out to be less important than one might expect from actual migration behaviour. Both ties within the household with household members who have international migration experience and ties with current migrants affect intentions only in Ghana and Egypt and it affects the intentions of women far stronger than that of men.

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Presented in Session 60: Comparative Analyses of International Migration