The effect of land access on youth employment and migration decisions: Evidence from rural Ethiopia
This article (PDF) by the American Journal of Agricultural Economics explores how the amount of land that youth expects to inherit affect their migration and employment decisions using cross-sectional data of rural Ethiopia. It finds that larger expected land inheritances significantly lower the likelihood of long-distance permanent migration and of permanent migration to urban areas. Inheriting more land also leads to a significantly higher likelihood of employment in agriculture and a lower likelihood of employment in the non-agricultural sector. Conversely, the decision to attend school is unaffected. These results appear to be most heavily-driven by males and by the older half of the youth sample. Furthermore, there is suggestive evidence that several mediating factors matter. Land inheritance is a much stronger predictor of rural-to-urban permanent migration and non-agricultural-sector employment in areas with less vibrant land markets, in relatively remote areas (those far from major urban centers), and in areas with lower soil quality. Overall, these results affirm the importance of push factors in dictating occupation and migration decisions in Ethiopia.