Abstract

It is widely believed that structural variables such as inequitable land distribution, lack of rural employment opportunities, and rural-urban wage and amenity gaps influence population movements in developing countries. Yet quantitative evidence is scant. In this paper a multilevel model is used to investigate the effects of individual-, household-, and areal-level factors on rural-urban out-migration in the Ecuadorian Sierra. Data from a detailed survey carried out in 1977–1978 and from government macro-areal statistics are used to investigate factors affecting the out-migration of youths aged 12–25. Preliminary conclusions are presented on the usefulness of multilevel models in studying migration and policy implications for Ecuador.

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