Examining the gendered impacts of cash transfers on migration in Mali

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Migration is a crucial element for economic development, as it offers workers in low- and middle-income countries ways to diversify and increase their income as well as ways to smooth their consumption over time. In addition, migration allows workers to send remittances, providing their households with the resources needed for investments. Yet social norms and income constraints also influence who migrates and why.

Our new paper in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics first assesses the prevailing gender patterns of migration in Mali, and then estimates impacts of a cash transfer program on these patterns to offer evidence on the relationship between constraints on income and migration. We find that the program had a positive effect on men’s rural-rural migration, and a negative effect on women’s rural-urban migration (respectively, the predominant forms of employment migration for each gender).

Photo credit: Watch the World/Shutterstock

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