Based on non-representative survey among 507 non-migrant, internal and international migrant households and qualitative research, this article examines the socio-economic and cultural impact of migration from a south Moroccan sending region to other regions and Europe. The study shows that international migration and remittances have significantly contributed to economic development, improved standards of living and enabled the partial emancipation of subaltern ethnic groups. International migrant households invest more than others in housing, agriculture and other enterprises. Risk spreading and income stabilisation rather than increasing incomes seem to be the prime rationale behind internal migration, although internal migration tends to facilitate the education and international migration of younger household members. Remittance expenditure and investments have stimulated the diversifying and urbanising regional economy and have triggered a counter-flow of “reverse” internal migration. However, several structural constraints prevent the high development potential of migration from being fully realised.
© 2006 Elsevier