This is a proposal for a grant to investigate the influence of ideational factors – values and beliefs ? on domestic and international migration in Nepal. We have identified many ideational factors that are hypothesized to have significant influences on migration, including the decision to leave an area and where to relocate. Ideational influences can also combine with socio-economic and demographic structures, family processes, and migration-specific capital in influencing migration. Unfortunately, most migration studies have focused almost exclusively on structural factors, and there is little understanding of the influence of values and beliefs on migration. Our project is designed to fill this important gap by focusing on values and beliefs and how they combine with structural forces to influence the decision to migrate and where to migrate.

We have two aims. First, we will examine how ideational factors influence the rate of migration out of an area, the migration destination, and the rate of subsequent international migration for those who first migrate domestically. Second, we will investigate how ideational factors intersect with socio-economic, demographic, familial, and migration-specific capital factors at the individual, household, and community levels to influence migration.

We will achieve these aims through an analysis of existing data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) in Nepal. In 2008, the CVFS collected extensive socio-economic, ideational, familial, and demographic information from a sample of Nepalis ages 12-59. From 2008 through 2012, follow-up individual interviews with both migrants and non migrants collected additional information, as did follow-up household interviews. These interviews ascertained residential information about study participants, providing complete migration histories, including the month and year of each move and the destination of that move. This prospective panel study provides a comprehensive view of a large sample of Nepalis and the ideational, socio economic, demographic, familial, and migration-specific capital forces that influence their lives. Having a continuous time series of detailed information about geographical moves, we will be able to study the influences of these factors on multiple dimensions of migration. We will investigate this ideational-socio economic-family model of migration using sophisticated analytic techniques, including event history models, nested logistic regression, and latent class trajectory analysis. Our team is experienced with research in Nepal and in using statistical techniques especially suited to these kinds of data and substantive issues, and will use them to provide unparalleled insights into ideational and socio economic influences on migration.