Understanding Willingness to Migrate Illegally: Evidence from a Lab in the Field Experiment

Project Info

Principal Investigators

Tijan L Bah (Nova SBE)
Cátia Batista (Nova SBE)



About this Project

Illegal migration to Europe through the sea, though risky, remains one of the most popular migration options for many Sub-Saharan Africans. This study aims at improving our understanding of the determinants of the willingness to migrate illegally from West Africa to Europe. We implemented an incentivized lab-in-the field experiment in rural Gambia with a sample of male youths aged 15 to 25 years old. According to our data, potential migrants overestimate both the risk of dying en route to Europe, and the probability of obtaining legal residency status. The preliminary results from our study indicate that the migration decisions of potential migrants are likely to actively respond to relevant information. 

Preliminary results from this project can be found in the working paper.

Contributing to SDGs: