Understanding rural-urban migration in the developing world


Published 26.07.23

How does encouraging rural-urban migration in the developing world impact welfare?

Read "The Welfare Effects of Encouraging Rural-Urban Migration" by David Lagakos, Mushfiq Mobarak and Michael E. Waugh here.

Economic research has identified large gaps in productivity and wages between rural and urban workers, which begs the question: why do large shares of the population in many developing countries continue to live in rural areas when urban areas within those same countries offer much higher wages? In this episode of VoxDevTalks, Mushfiq Mobarak joins us to to discuss research with David Lagakos and Michael E. Waugh, which builds on his extensive previous work on this topic. He discusses what the results from a field experiment that subsidised seasonal migration in rural Bangladesh can teach us about why people move to urban areas, and identifies key lessons for policymakers from these findings.