This is a proposal to investigate the influence of ideational factors - values and beliefs - on domestic and international migration in Nepal. We have identified many ideational factors that are hypothesized to have significant influences on migration, including the decision to leave an area and where to relocate. Ideational influences can also interact with socioeconomic and demographic factors, family processes, and migration- specific capital in influencing migration. Unfortunately, most migration studies have focused almost exclusively on socioeconomic factors, and there is little understanding of the influence of values and beliefs on migration. Our project is designed to fill this important gap by focusing on values and beliefs and how they interact with socioeconomic forces to influence the decision to migrate and where to migrate. We have two aims. First, we will examine how ideational factors influence the rate of migration out of an area, the migration destination, and the rate of subsequent international migration for those who first migrate domestically. Second, we will investigate how ideational factors interact with socioeconomic, demographic, familial, and migration-specific capital factors at the individual, household, and community levels to influence migration. We will achieve these aims through an analysis of existing data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) in Nepal. In 2008, the CVFS collected extensive socioeconomic, ideational, familial, and demographic information from a sample of Nepalis ages 12-59. From 2008 through 2012, follow-up individual interviews with both migrants and non-migrants collected additional information, as did follow-up household interviews. These interviews ascertained residential information about study participants, providing complete migration histories, including the month and year of each move and the destination of that move. This prospective panel study provides a comprehensive view of a large sample of Nepalis and the ideational, socioeconomic, demographic, familial, and migration-specific capital forces that influence their lives. Having a continuous time series of detailed information about geographical moves, we will be able to study the influences of these factors on multiple dimensions of migration. We will investigate this ideational-socioeconomic-family model of migration using sophisticated analytic techniques, including event history models, nested logistic regression, and latent class trajectory analysis. Our team is experienced with research in Nepal and in using statistical techniques especially suited to these kinds of data and substantive issues, and will use them to provide unparalleled insights into ideational and socioeconomic influences on migration.

Public Health Relevance

The health and well-being of families and children are influenced greatly by migration. In this project we evaluate the influence of ideational and structural influences on migration. Our research will provide valuable new information to understand better the influences of ideas and social structures on migration behavior.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Bures, Regina M
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
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Ann Arbor
United States
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