Journal Article
Crop prices and the individual decision to migrate

This study investigates the effect of commodity prices, in particular rice and coffee, on the decision of migrating at the individual level.

As most coffee production is sold by households for exports, we would expect that coffee price shocks would have a direct effect on the probability to migrate. On the other hand, we would anticipate that fluctuations in rice prices have little or no effect on migration decisions, given that rice is mainly produced for household consumption. We test these hypotheses drawing evidence from migration in Vietnam.

We show that the lower the price of coffee, the higher the likelihood of migrating. This evidence seems to suggest that migration acts as a shock-coping strategy. We find that rice prices have no effect on the probability of migrating. We further explore the extent of migrants’ self-selection and show that lower coffee prices increase the migration probability of individuals with lower education.

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