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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Decision making in rural-urban migration from a low income area Kovacsics, Miklos Peter


This is a study of migration. The Report of the Federal Task Force of Agriculture in 1969 defined increased mobility out of agriculture as a farm policy goal. This goal was seen as a means to help reduce the incidence of poverty in farming. Economic theory identifies costs and benefits as deterring and motivating factors for migration respectively. This study is a study of individual decision making. Retaining a basic cost-benefit framework, decision making is examined with the aid of a model where a decision to migrate is some function of economic and non-economic expectations, and expectations in turn are some function of information about events, and finally information about events is a function of perception. A sample area was selected within Census Division 16 in Saskatchewan and two parallel surveys were conducted in July 1971. Residents of the sample area were interviewed, and outmigrants from the area during the previous five years were located and interviewed. Parametric variables were evaluated via one way analysis of variance producing the F statistic, and non-parametric variables were evaluated using cross tabulations producing the chi square statistic. The study findings and conclusions provide the following information. Rural people do expect a higher level of income as a result of migration. The experience of migrants seems to support these expectations but at a lower level. Job expectations are generally non-specific, any kind of steady employment is seen as desirable. Costs, particularly costs of moving are not perceived as a significant deterrent to moving. Failing health, low incomes and inadequate acreage are the most common motivating events (factors) towards the decision to migrate. Information about an urban environment is most effectively transmitted by personal contact, friends and relatives are most effective in transmitting relevant and reasonably accurate information.

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