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Migration, the Urban Informal Sector, and Earnings in the Philippines

Hagen Koo and Peter C. Smith
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 24, No. 2 (Spring, 1983), pp. 219-232
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4106230
Page Count: 14
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Migration, the Urban Informal Sector, and Earnings in the Philippines
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Abstract

This study investigates several issues pertaining to the urban informal sector and cityward migration in Philippine cities. The analysis of cross-sectional national demographic data reveals the four major patterns. First, the pattern of migrants' participation in the urban labor market varies greatly between male and female migrants. The widely held notion that migrants tend to enter the urban occupational structure through the informal sector seems to apply mainly to female migrants. Second, the informal sector must not be identified with urban poverty. Our data suggest that informal economies provide a wide range of income opportunities and that there is a great deal of overlap between formal- and informal-sector workers' incomes. Third, the effects of rural background and informal sector involvement seem to vary between Manila and the secondary cities. Fourth, sectoral boundaries do not seem to constitute a significant mobility barrier, but, due to the general lack of occupational mobility opportunities in Philippine cities, only a small proportion of those working in the informal sector are likely to move out of it.

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