|Rural livelihoods and access to natural capital: Differences between migrants and non-migrants in Madagascar|
||Raphael J. Nawrotzki, Lori M. Hunter, and Thomas W. Dickinson
||Demographic Research, 26(24): 661-700; DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2012.26.24
Environment and natural resources
Although natural resources play a central role in rural livelihoods across the globe, little
research has explored the relationship between migration and natural capital use,
particularly in combination with other livelihood capitals (i.e., human, social, financial,
Grounded in the rural livelihood framework, this paper explores the association
between the livelihood capital availability, especially natural capital, for migrants and
non-migrants in rural Madagascar.
Data from the 2008/2009 Demographic and Health Survey is used in combination with
satellite imagery of vegetation coverage (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index,
NDVI) to proxy natural resources. Hierarchical multilevel models allow for inclusion of
cross-level interactions between migrant status and proximate natural resources as
determinants of the status of livelihood assets.
Three key findings emerge. First, higher levels of proximate natural resources are
associated with greater financial, human, and social capital for both migrants and nonmigrants.
Second, migrants have, on average, greater financial, physical, human, and social capital than non-migrants, and urban-to-rural migrants do exceptionally well in
all capital asset categories. Third, migrants residing in areas with higher levels of
natural capital tend to have significantly higher levels of human capital (education).
Although we cannot examine livelihood strategies per se, the results suggest variation
in livelihood potential among migrants and non-migrants in rural Madagascar, with
migrants tending to have greater capital assets. In addition, access to natural resources
is a central livelihood strategy.