Migration and poverty

There is a growing understanding that migration can help people to move out of poverty. But is not always the best solution and works better as a strategy for some migrants, and in some places, than others.

As the research strand that explores the overarching question of how migration can help poor people move out of poverty in more detail, work under this theme seeks to identify factors at the household, community and macro level which affect migration and poverty and how these differ by context.

Beyond Migration and Development


Professor Ronald Skeldon, University of Sussex, discusses the link between migration and development in this lecture delivered at the International Migration Institute, University of Oxford, on 23 February 2012.

Working papers

DateTitle and downloadAuthors
July 2014 Poverty, Youth and Rural-Urban Migration in Ethiopia [PDF 672.85KB] Adamnesh Atnafu, Linda Oucho and Benjamin Zeitlyn
May 2014 Does Migration for Domestic Work Reduce Poverty? A Review of the Literature and an Agenda for Research [PDF 653.26KB] Priya Deshingkar and Benjamin Zeitlyn with Bridget Holtom
April 2014 Can Rural-Urban Migration into Slums Reduce Poverty? Evidence from Ghana [PDF 1.52MB] Mariama Awumbila, George Owusu, Joseph Kofi Teye
March 2014 Internal Remittances and Poverty: Further evidence from Africa and Asia [PDF 1.68MB] Andy McKay and Priya Deshingkar
September 2012 Internal Migration Remittances and Poverty [PDF 1.47MB] Adriana Castaldo, Priya Deshingkar and Andy McKay
September 2012 Impact of Migration on Poverty and Development [PDF 668.27KB] Tasneem Siddiqui
September 2009 Social Protection for Migrant Labour In the Ghanaian Pineapple Sector S.Barrientos, J.Anarfi, N.Lamhauge, A.Castaldo, N.Akua Anyidoho
February 2007 Migration, Legal Status and Poverty: Evidence from Return to Ghana Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, Claudia Natali, Richard Black
November 2006 Place, Social Protection and Migration in Bangladesh: A Londoni Village in Biswanath Katy Gardner and Zahir Ahmed
October 2006 Migration for Hard Work: A Reluctant Livelihood Strategy for Poor Households in West Bengal, India Abdur Rafique, Deeptima Massey and Ben Rogaly
November 2005 Globalization, Skilled Migration and Poverty Alleviation: Brain Drains in Context Ron Skeldon
October 2005 Tackling Poverty-Migration Linkages: Evidence from Ghana and Egypt Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, Ricardo Sabates, Adriana Castaldo
December 2003 Poverty, vulnerability and migration choice Hugh Waddington and Rachel Sabates-Wheeler
December 2003 Migration and social protection: a concept paper Rachel Sabates-Wheeler and Myrthe Waite
December 2003 Livelihood Outcomes of Migration for Poor People Clare Waddington

Country papers

DateTitle and downloadAuthors
February 2007 Migration and Poverty Reduction in Kosovo Zana Vathi and Richard Black
February 2007 Migration and Poverty Reduction in Tajikistan Larissa Jones, Richard Black and Ronald Skeldon
February 2007 Migration and Poverty Reduction in Moldova Maria Cristina Pantiru, Richard Black, Rachel Sabates-Wheeler
February 2007 Understanding Migration as a Driver of Poverty Reduction in Europe and Central Asia Richard Black, Larissa Jones, Maria Cristina Pantiru, Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, Ronald Skeldon, Zana Vathi
November 2004 Migration and Pro-Poor Policy in West Africa Richard Black, Savina Ammassari, Shannon Mouillesseaux and Radha Rajkotia 
November 2004 Migration and Pro-Poor Policy in East Africa Richard Black, Lyndsay McLean Hilker and Claire Pooley
November 2004 Migration and Pro-Poor Policy in Africa Richard Black
December 2003 Internal migration an development nexus: the case of Bangladesh Rita Asfar
December 2003 Migration as a livelihood strategy of the poor: the Bangladesh case Tasneem Siddiqui