A Conceptual Analysis of Household Migration Decisions

가구의 이동결정에 관한 개념적고찰

  • Published : 1991.06.01


Migration studies that assume that decision making is done on an individual basis is overlooking the importance of the family factor. Considering that must people belong to families, it is more appropriate to view migration decision from the perspective of the family. This study analyzes the household migration decision whereby the alternatives are to stay, 10 undertake family migration or to undertake single migration of a member. In developing a conceptual model of household migration decision, it is assumed that the household's objective is to maximize household income which is a function of individual members' earnings. The benefits and costs of household migration and individual migration are identified and the household chooses the migration strategy that maximizes expected household income. When household members have conflicting earning prospects in the potential destination, the household considers single migration of the member with the best earning potentials. However, lone migration by a household member involves cost of family separation which is both monetary and psychic, and this study shows that lone migration is undertaken only when its net gains to the family are greater than the separation cost of the family. The major benefit of choosing single migration is the retention of home base in the place of origin which can serve as an insurance against the uncertainty of obtaining a job in the destination, the benefit that is unavailable in family migration. The conceptual analysis shows how a household's migration decision would depend on its members' economic roles and prospects in the destination. Besides the economic variables, social and life cycle variables of the family translate into separation costs and benefits of migration. This study indicates that one - earner family in low economic status but with good earning prospects and high separation costs is more likely to choose family migration over single migration.