This paper details a theoretical framework to explain the impediments to migration. It argues that actual migration as a household livelihood strategy is impeded by constraints imposed by the households' access to the institutions and assets needed for migration within the household's Welfare Pentagon(s). The Welfare Pentagon embodies the five central institutions that households could use to assuage needs in a given society (family, markets, social networks, membership institutions and public authorities). Using data from Albania and Moldova, we then explore the model predictions empirically. Utilizing a probit model for the decision to not migrate at the household level, we find strong support for the Welfare Pentagon framework, especially the family, market and social network variables. We find that having access to different parts of the Welfare Pentagon plays a considerable role in the possibility for migration.