Keeping Up with the Diallos: Household Wealth, Relative Deprivation and Migration from Senegal to Europe

Erik Vickstrom, Princeton University

African migrants to Europe are often portrayed as fleeing poverty, but research has also posited that inequality is a determinant of migration. Using data from the Migration between Africa and Europe (MAFE) study, this paper investigates the extent to which relative deprivation is a motivation for migration between Senegal and Europe. I hypothesize that different stages in the process of cumulative causation of migration are associated with different motivations for migration. I estimate a household-level model that measures both cross-sectional household wealth and relative deprivation, and use instrumental variable techniques to estimate counterfactual household wealth and relative deprivation at earlier stages in the process of cumulative causation. I find support for the hypothesis that relative deprivation is a potential motivation for migration in a counterfactual world prior to migration, and that migrant households are significantly wealthier than non-migrant households at the observed end point of the process of cumulative causation.

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Presented in Poster Session 6