How do social protection programmes in the Global South affect migration decisions? A review of the literature

Global interest on expanding social protection to low- and middle-income countries, particularly since the early 2000s, has translated into many new initiatives across countries and an ever-greater number of people covered. Over the same period, international and internal migration have also continued increasing worldwide. Migration, and the desire for change, arises from the need to manage a wide range of socioeconomic risks. Migrating is often not the only option available. In fact, most people do not aspire to migrate at all, while others do not have the capacity to migrate. Providing access to alternative livelihood opportunities and coping mechanisms may provide another option. This paper reviews the body of academic literature on the link between emigration and social protection. It reviews 76 papers, covering 85 countries, published before or in 2020.