Migration, Income Pooling and Food Deprivation in Zimbabwe

1 July 2019
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: D13, D64, F24

Income pooling in the context of geographically stretched households, that is, households with migrants who maintain close relations and economic ties with household members left behind, is examined in this article. Focus is also directed at evaluating whether migration assists in reducing food deprivation in the household of origin. A model to generalise the relationship between the migrant and the family left behind is presented and then applied to Bulawayo, the second largest city of Zimbabwe. The analysis is tripartite. First, the determinants of migrant remittances are established; second, tests of income pooling between migrant remittances and income of the household at origin are conducted; and third, the impact of migration on family left behind is examined in the context of food deprivation. Results show that gender is not a determinant of remittances, but it matters for income pooling of remittances with income at the household of origin on frequent and low-cost purchases. The evidence provided challenges the idea that a household is a separate and independent unit composed of co-residents eating from the same pot.

Working paper 784
1 July 2019