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Keywords:

  • West Africa;
  • migration;
  • rural households;
  • networks

This paper uses a system of labour supply equations and data from Burkina Faso collected in 2003 to test the conditions underlying two different migratory movements: continental and intercontinental migration. We provide theoretical reasoning and empirical evidence that heterogeneity in migration is related to heterogeneity in rural households. We find that comparatively asset-poor households embark on continental migration, whereas intercontinental migration takes place in comparatively wealthy households in response to opportunities for accumulation of wealth in Europe. We also find that access to religion-specific migrant networks plays a positive and negative role in explaining, respectively, intercontinental and continental migration.