How migrants choose their destination in Burkina Faso?

Type Working Paper
Title How migrants choose their destination in Burkina Faso?
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
Characteristics of places of residence are known to play a major role in the migration
decision-making process (Gardner 1981; Hugo 1985; Findley 1987; Lucas 1997). Although a
large amount of research has been conducted on the factors influencing the decision to leave a
region, very few studies have tackled the factors determining the destination of migration
(Bilsborrow 1984; Oberai and Bilsborrow 1984). One of the most famous theories developed to
explain migration and including characteristics of places of residence is the push and pull model
developed by Lee (1966). In this model, migration is a response to repulsive forces at the origin
(such as high population density or pressure on land resources), and attractive forces at the
destination (such as employment opportunities). In the cost-benefit model developed by Sjaastad
(1962), migration decisions depend on the stream of benefits anticipated in alternative locations
compared with those obtainable in the current location and the various costs involved in
movement. Compared to the push and pull model, this model is attractive because it recognizes
the effect of the individual characteristics of potential migrants (Rhoda 1983). Actually,
individual characteristics are “filters” through which information about potential movers’ present
location and potential destinations passes (Hugo 1981). Perceptions of the same factors can vary
considerably from individual to individual according to their levels of education, aspirations,
awareness of urban opportunities and general level of modernization. In addition, a person’s
decision to migrate is influenced both by his own characteristics and attitudes and how these have
been conditioned by household and community factors. The existence of family members and
friends (in the current area of residence and in the alternative destinations considered) may be
more significant in stimulating or restricting migration, and in directing migration (INSTRAW

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