Population and Environment

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 41–62

Migration intentions and behavior: Decision making in a rural Philippine province


  • Gordon F. De Jong
    • Population Issues Research CenterThe Pennsylvania State University
  • Brenda Davis Root
    • Population Issues Research CenterThe Pennsylvania State University
  • Robert W. Gardner
    • East-West Population Institute
  • James T. Fawcett
    • East-West Population Institute
  • Ricardo G. Abad
    • Institute of Philippine CultureAteneo de Manila University

DOI: 10.1007/BF01263016

Cite this article as:
De Jong, G.F., Root, B.D., Gardner, R.W. et al. Popul Environ (1985) 8: 41. doi:10.1007/BF01263016


The relationship between intentions and behavior is basic to micro-level migration decision research. This study, set in the rural Philippine province of Ilocos Norte, provides evidence on personal and structural background factors and value-expectancy perceptions of place utility that predict migration intentions and behavior. Separate analyses are conducted for general intentions to move and for destination-specific migration intentions, the latter pertaining to both internal migration (Manila) and international migration (Hawaii). Logistic regression analyses applied to the data from a 1980–82 longitudinal survey show that the empirical models are highly efficient in explaining migration intentions but less efficient in explaining actual migration behavior in this Third World setting. Important explanatory variables for both intentions and behavior include family pressure to move or stay, family auspices at alternative destinations, money to move, prior migration experience, and the life cycle stage (marital status and age). However, the determinants of internal and international migration behavior are not the same. The data only partially support the Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) position that intentions are the dominant determinant of behavior. Personal and structural background factors are shown to exert independent direct effects on migration behavior.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1986