Migration in Vietnam: New Evidence from Recent Surveys

Type Working Paper
Title Migration in Vietnam: New Evidence from Recent Surveys
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2015/12/28/090224b083ff52fd/1​_0/Rendered/PDF/Migration0in0V00from0recent0surveys.pdf
We investigate determinants of individual migration
decisions in Vietnam, a country with increasingly high
levels of geographical labor mobility. Using data from
the Vietnam Household Living Standards Survey
(VHLSS) of 2012, we find that probability of migration
is strongly associated with individual, household and
community-level characteristics. The probability of
migration is higher for young people and those with
post-secondary education. Migrants are more likely to
be from households with better-educated household
heads, female-headed households, and households
with higher youth dependency ratios. Members of
ethnic minority groups are much less likely to migrate,
other things equal. Using multinomial logit methods,
we distinguish migration by broad destination, and find
that those moving to Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi have
broadly similar characteristics and drivers of migration
to those moving to other destinations. We also use
VHLSS 2012 together with VHLSS 2010, which allows
us to focus on a narrow cohort of recent migrants—
those present in the household in 2010, but who have
moved away by 2012. This yields much tighter results.
For education below upper secondary school, the
evidence on positive selection by education is much
stronger. However, the ethnic minority “penalty” on
spatial labor mobility remains strong and significant,
even after controlling for specific characteristics of
households and communes. This lack of mobility is a
leading candidate to explain the distinctive persistence
of poverty among Vietnam’s ethnic minority
populations, even as national poverty has sharply

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