School of Built Environment & Development Studies

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Seminar: Rural-urban migration as a means of getting ahead

19 September, 2018 | 10:30 am - 1:00 pm

DST/NRF SARChI in Economic Development in the School of Built Environment & Development Studies

Invites you to a seminar by Dr Justin Visagie

Rural-urban migration as a means of getting ahead

Abstract: Moving to a city in search of a better future seems to pay off for many poor people living in the countryside. Using longitudinal data from the National Income Dynamics Study to track changes in well-being over time, we find that unemployment falls and poverty levels are cut in half for rural-urban migrants during the period 2008 to 2014. Notwithstanding the complex relationship between migration and social mobility, urbanisation can be a powerful agent for change. Government ambivalence about urbanisation should be replaced by a more positive and pro-active approach which recognises migrants’ self-determination and supports the provision of improved shelter, essential infrastructure and assistance with economic integration.

Bio: Dr Justin Visagie is a research specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council with a focus on urban economics, development economics and applied microeconomic research. He was previously Director of Economic Planning, Policy and Research in the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism in the Eastern Cape. He completed his PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where he won the prestigious Founders’ medal from the Economic Society of South Africa for his thesis on the development of the middle class in South Africa. Dr Visagie has expertise in microeconomic data analysis and has worked on a wide-array of cross-sectional and longitudinal household datasets. His recent research projects cover issues of regional economic development, spatial inequality and inclusion, social mobility, urbanisation and migration.


19 September, 2018
10:30 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Room 808, Level 8, Denis Shepstone Building
238 Mazisi Kunene Rd
Glenwood, KwaZulu-Natal 4001 South Africa
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