Ethiopian Journal of Development Research

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Uncertain Migration Impacts on Sending Households in Rural Areas in Northwest Ethiopia

Atsede Desta


The relative impact of migration on the living conditions of sending households through remittances has been much debated. This paper aims to
shed light on debates on long- and short-term impacts of migration, drawing
on empirical evidence from North-West Ethiopia. The study was guided by
the New Economic Labour Migration theory and used some retrospective
survey data from 553 households and semi-structured interviews with longterm, short-term or no migrants. The difference-in-differences method helped to assess the changes of households with migrants compared to the nonmigrant- sending households in the same area and in the same period. The results illustrate the uncertainty of migration strategies in terms of actual
remittances and livelihood improvements for the sending households.

Keywords: short-term migration, long-term migration, remittances, Ethiopia, 2004, 2014

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