Migration and Wealth Accumulation in Uganda

Research paper by William E. Herrin, John R. Knight, Arsene M. Balihuta

Indexed on: 15 Feb '08Published on: 15 Feb '08Published in: The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics


This paper examines the causes and effects of migration in Uganda. It is the first to do so using household level data. The data are unusually detailed, chronicling the movements of household heads from birth to time of enumeration. Using Poisson regression analysis, we are able to investigate the characteristics that influence the number of moves undertaken by the household head. Using the Poisson results, we find that more moves in search of employment lead to less wealth accumulation. Although this result appears to be counterintuitive, it supports theories of migration in less developed countries. We also find that households headed by men are in general less likely to move than those headed by women, which could reflect differential ownership rights implicit in Ugandan law. This finding is reversed, however, when moves are limited to those in search of employment. This suggests that men, being the primary providers when they are the household head, are likely to move more in search of employment.