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The determinants of internal migration in a developing country: quantitative evidence for Indonesia, 1930–2000

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This study specifies and estimates a gravity model for interprovincial migration in Indonesia. Analysing five cross-sections for Indonesia's 26 provinces for five survey years between 1930 and 2000 we show that throughout the twentieth century economic factors were more important in the explanation of interprovincial migration patterns in Indonesia than planned migration policy aimed at the redistribution of the population. In addition, our regression analysis demonstrates that the urban primacy of Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, had a strong effect on the direction and size of migration flows. Our findings thus suggest that the costly government-supported migration is not very successful and that a strongly centralized government induces migration flows to the capital. These findings have policy implications for other developing countries.
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Keywords: Indonesia; J61; J68; N15; O15; development; gravity model; internal migration; policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, Geography Department, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK 2: Centre for Global Economic History, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Publication date: 01 December 2012

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