Emmanuelle Auriol, and Jean-Luc Demonsant, Education and Migration Choices in Hierarchical Societies: The Case of Matam, Senegal, TSE Working Paper, n. 11-236, March 28, 2011.


The paper aims at studying determinants of schooling in traditional hierarchical societies confronted with an established history of outmigration. In the village, a ruling caste controls local political and religious institutions. For children who do not belong to the ruling caste, migration is a social mobility factor that is enhanced by formal schooling. Since formally educated children tend not to return, the ruling caste seeks to develop family loyalty by choosing religious education instead. The theory hence predicts that the social status of the family has a significant impact on educational choice. Children from the ruling caste who are sent abroad have a lower probability of being sent to formal school. They are more likely to be sent to Koranic schools that emphasize religious and family values. The theoretical predictions are tested on data from Matam region in Senegal, a region where roughly one of every two children have ever attended school.


Schooling; Migration; Social Status; Haalpulaar

JEL codes

  • I21: Analysis of Education
  • O12: Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
  • O15: Human Resources • Human Development • Income Distribution • Migration
  • O17: Formal and Informal Sectors • Shadow Economy • Institutional Arrangements
  • Z13: Economic Sociology • Economic Anthropology • Social and Economic Stratification