Agricultural Change and Migration in a Rural Agrarian Setting

Prem B. Bhandari, University of Michigan
Dirgha J. Ghimire, University of Michigan

Many rural agrarian societies are experiencing dramatic changes. Farm households are giving way traditional family-based farming practices and are increasingly being reliant on market-based modern technologies. Increasing number of farm households are also engaged in out-migration. However, less is known about the extent to which such agrarian transformations influence individual out-migration. Using ten and a half years of longitudinal panel data from a rapidly changing rural agrarian setting of Nepal, this study investigates the impact of labor-saving modern farm technology use on out-migration. We argue that use of labor-saving technologies replaces farm labor and positively influences individual out-migration. Using the discrete time event history method to model the monthly hazard of out-migration, our findings suggest that while other farm implements and chemicals did not have a large effect, the use of a tractor significantly predicts subsequent out-migration. This investigation sheds light on population and development issues in the region.

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Presented in Poster Session 5