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This paper applies mixed methods to examine the occupational status of Senegalese return migrants and nonmigrants in Dakar and to explore the role of differential migration experiences for occupational outcomes. The analysis uses quantitative data from the MAFE-Senegal survey (2008) and qualitative semi-structured interviews with return migrants. While returnees do not seem to drop out of the labor market, they are overrepresented among the self-employed. However, self-employment is not necessarily associated with positive migration experiences. Rather than a choice, self-employment appears to be a “last resort” for individuals who were not able to accumulate capital or prepare their return.

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Journal article


World Development

Publication Date





223 - 238


return migration, occupational status, mixed methods, Sub-Saharan Africa, Senegal