n Studies in Economics and Econometrics - The impact of dwindling opportunities for mine migration on rural household income in Lesotho

Volume 36, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0379-6205


The numbers of Basotho men in the South African mines dropped from almost 126,000 in 1990 to just over 41,000 in 2010. Using primary data, this paper analyses the sources and levels of income in former migrant, current migrant and non-migrant households in rural Lesotho, and then identifies the variables that significantly correlate with both household income and household per capita income. In the absence of panel data, the paper uses the differences in mean incomes between current and former migrant households to highlight the impact of dwindling opportunities for mine migration on household income. The paper finds that with the loss of migration status, monthly household income dropped by M2040 in 2006/2007 when per capita income for the country was M5624. The paper recommends investment in the country's comparative advantage areas and skills development for productive engagement in the domestic economy of rural men who by tradition look for work in the South African mines.

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