Do limitations in land rights transferability influence mobility rates in Ethiopia
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Migration is considered a pathway out of poverty for many rural households in developing countries. National policies can discourage households from exploiting external employment opportunities through the distortion of capital markets. In this paper, we study whether a specific distortion, restrictions on land transferability, affects migration in Ethiopia. We find that when we broadly define migration, households with better land rights are slightly less likely to send out migrants. However, this finding does not hold when restricting the focus to employment migration. Although improved land transferability rights have a modest negative effect on migration, understanding the barriers to migration is of utmost importance given recent work that highlights the high earning potential in the non-agricultural sector in Ethiopia.
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