Understanding Urban Migration in Viet Nam: Evidence from a Micro–Macro Link

We focus on the demographic transition from rural to urban areas in Viet Nam. We develop an empirical framework to measure the relative impact of location characteristics versus individual characteristics in determining the destination choices of migrants. Assuming that locational data on potential destinations are freely available to migrants, the model seeks to explain how different types of migrants process this information and how their destination choice is accordingly influenced. The results provide strong evidence that most location-specific factors, such as employment-related factors and infrastructure, are found to be significant for all types of migrants; however, the intensity of significance varies depending on migrants’ gender, migration purpose, and social capital. Furthermore, we estimated a random-effects (RE) net migration rate model for the period 2011‒2018 for 63 provinces and found that migrants considerably favor big cities over other locations, which poses a great challenge in managing the overurbanization issues in metropolitan areas of Viet Nam. Policy recommendations are proposed based on the findings.


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