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Migration and Unemployment in South Africa: when Motivation Surpasses the Theory

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journal contribution
posted on 06.06.2017 by Cornwell, Katy, Inder, Brett A.
This paper looks at the connection between internal migration and unemployment in South Africa. We examine whether rural-urban migrants are more likely to be unemployed, in informal sector employment or underemployed than non-migrants. We build on standard economic theory to predict that rates of unemployment and of participation in the informal sector ought to be much higher for migrants than for non-migrants. The empirical evidence we present, based on the 1993 and 1994 October Household Surveys, provides only some support for this theory. Results suggest that compared to job seeking non-migrants, recent migrants do well at finding formal employment, and are much less likely to be unemployed.


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Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics