The Role of Social Networks on Youth Migration, Settlement and Entrepreneurship in Malawi
Keywords:Social Networks, Internal Migration, Settlement, Integration, Youth, Malawi
This study examines the influence of social networks on the settlement and integration of young internal migrants in Malawi. By employing probit models on a unique dataset collected from 1500 urban migrant youths aged between 15 to 35. The results reveal that social networks positively relate to migrant youths settlement in their first migration destination. The relationship is driven by religious grouping membership. Further, social networks of religious groupings and home associations positively relate to migrant youth integration, observed from their increased business ownership. Membership to workers’ unions relates negatively to entrepreneurship. The social networks do not relate to wage job employment. These findings suggest that policy that supports establishment of social networks or leverages their availability could be are key in improving migrant youth welfare through supporting settlement and integration. However, if the goal is enhance migrant youth's formal employment, alternative interventions such as vocation training should be considered.
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