Rural Agricultural Change and Individual Out-migration

We investigate the impact of household use of labor-saving farm technologies on first-time out-migration after the household agriculture and consumption survey was conducted in 1996. Building on the labor substitution framework, we hypothesize that household use of labor-saving technologies (e.g., tractors, farm implements, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides) increases individual out-migration. To estimate the effects of the use of labor-saving farm technologies on out-migration, we use uniquely detailed panel data from the rapidly changing rural agrarian, migrant-sending setting of Nepal. The results of our multilevel, discrete-time, event history models suggest that net of other known factors associated with out-migration, household use of farm technology-particularly the use of tractors-significantly increases out-migration.