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Travis Baseler

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Determinants of the Migration Decision and Welfare of Migrants at their Destinations

Graduate Student Research Fellowship | 2017 - 2018 Academic Year

The large income gap between urban and rural parts of many poor countries invites the question of why migration does not arbitrage this gap away. Using a sample of households in rural Kenya, Baseler shows that individuals on average underestimate urban wages considerably. Randomly providing households with city-level labor market information induces seven percent of households to send a migrant to Nairobi, increasing household income. Baseler proposes that downward-biased beliefs persist because of strategic income misreporting by migrants, and uses matched survey data to show that information flows from migrants to origin households are consistent with hidden income incentives.


Travis Baseler, Department of Economics

Travis Baseler

Travis Baseler is a PhD candidate in the department of economics at Stanford University. Prior to attending Stanford, he received a BA from Columbia University, where he studied economics and mathematics. His research focuses on internal migration in developing countries. Baseler’s most recent work studies information barriers to migration using a field experiment in rural Kenya.

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