Processes of Internal and International Migration from Chitwan, Nepal



In this study, we examine which factors predict internal and international migration from Chitwan, a flat valley located in the south-central region of Nepal, seeking to measure the effect of theoretically specified variables such as human capital, social capital, physical capital, and neighborhood socioeconomic conditions while controlling for demographic variables. We use data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study to estimate a series of discrete time event history models of first and repeat migration to three competing destinations: other locations within Chitwan, other districts within Nepal, and places outside of Nepal. Results support hypotheses derived from neoclassical economics, the theory of new economics of migration, social capital theory, and cumulative causation theory. Our results underscore the need for a synthetic theoretical model that incorporates factors operating at the individual, household, and community levels. The use of multiple explanatory models yields a clearer picture of the forces driving internal and international migration from rural districts in developing nations such as Nepal.