Labor Migration and Migrants' Aspiration: Analyzing the Migration Pattern Based on Social-Economic Status of Households in Rural Indonesia

Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Distributed Paper
Silvia ARLINI, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Despite the current attempt from the Indonesian government curtailing migration of unskilled labour to several international migration destinations, labour migration is still highly prevalent among the poor Indonesian as one of the important livelihood strategy for alleviating poverty especially in the rural area. Although the nature of the migration is not permanent and relatively precarious, people are still keen to migrate and leaving the family behind.  This paper aims at observing the migration pattern in rural Indonesia and examining who migrate and what their migration aspiration is. Drawing on the quantitative survey among 1203 households in rural Ponorogo, Indonesia and also complemented with the findings from intra-household dynamic qualitative survey among 24 households in the same location, this paper focuses on analysing the migration aspiration among households from different social and economic status, that are measured from income and education level. The finding shows that the households with low social-economic status have higher probability to migrate because they view migration as a necessity for their economic betterment when there is very little opportunity available in the area. In contrast, the households with high social-economic status have lower probability to migrate and they view migration not as a necessity but as an option to achieve their aspiration. This paper argues that government need not to restrict the migration of the poor, but facilitate the safe migration and encourage the attainment of higher education for their economic betterment. Once they are better-off, they would be inevitably less willing to become labour migrant.