This paper uses the recent Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey 2004 to analyze
the determinants and impacts of migration in Vietnam. Most of the previous studies on the
determinants and impacts of migration have focused on destination rather than origin areas
of migration. This limits our understanding of the determinants of migration and also does
not provide evidence on important impacts of migration such as on household inequality in
In terms of determinants of migration, the study shows that migration is a highly selective
process and strongly affected by household and commune characteristics, although
differently across type of migration and across urban and rural areas. We do find evidence
for the existence of a 'migration hump' for economic long-term migration, with an inverted
U-shape in the probability of migration with respect to per capita expenditures. The
presence of non-farm employment opportunities does reduce short-term migration but not
long-term out-migration for economic reasons.
In terms of impacts the study analyzes the impact of migration on household expenditures
and household inequality. Migration is found to have a strong positive impact on
household expenditures but increases the Gini coefficient of per capita household
expenditures from 0.38 to 0.42 in origin areas compared to the no-migration case.