Locked up? The development and internal migration nexus in Colombia

Autor o Editor
Acosta, Karina
Gu, Hengyu

The series Documentos de Trabajo Sobre Economía Regional y Urbana is a publication of Banco de la República in Cartagena. The opinions contained in this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not commit Banco de la República or its Board of Directors.

Fecha de publicación


Although a sizable number of studies have been exploring the migration development nexus in international settings, there is still a reduced number on internal contexts in recent years. This research aims to estimate the causal effect of origin economic conditions on internal population migration using a time series of the Colombian states between 2012 and 2019. This analysis provides a macro perspective of associations and causation between population dynamics and development in the current changes observed using spatial interaction models. Likewise, it analyses the current  portray of internal migration in Colombia (defined by five-years and one-year flows). The evidence shows that the migration hump depends on the scale at which it is analyzed. At an aggregated scale, initial economic conditions are negatively associated with migration until a threshold where this relationship is reversed. The opposite is observed in the rural migrants subsample.