The Impact of Migration on Albanian Agriculture: A Snapshot

  • Matteo BellettiEmail author
  • Elvira Leksinaj
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


This study aims to identify the relation between migration and agriculture in Albania. After more than 20 years of free trade, migrant worker remittances remain a vital voice in Albanian national economic wealth. At the same time, the agricultural sector seems to have remained frozen in time: a farming system derived from the land reform of 1991 that is still characterized by smallholdings oriented to auto-consumption with some very informal trade connections to the local food markets. Moreover, a substantial proportion of the Albanian population still lives in rural areas and still works in agriculture. On this premise, it is not surprising that the majority of remittances from abroad go to the rural population and it is acceptable to assume that the remittances absorbed by the rural population may have been partly used to overcome the lack of policy support and to provide agriculture with the minimum input of capital needed to fund some connection to the market.

However, with regard to this assumption, recent studies suggest that this is not the case. These studies claim that the increase in the total rural income in Albania from the transition to the first decade in the twenty-first century is probably due to the direct effect of the remittances instead of to any investment of remittances in agricultural productivity. Moreover, these studies infer that remittances directed to the rural population in many cases are used by the households “to escape” from agriculture rather than to improve agricultural income. Hence, with respect to these papers, the present is a confirmatory study designed to further explore the relation between remittances from abroad and agricultural income generation in Albania. We rely on an up-to-date review of the most recent research conclusions on the impact of international migration on Albanian farming system to better comprehend the lack of progress in the post-transition Albanian agricultural economy, the migration process being a potential shock element to a labor-intensive rural economy as a whole. Qualitatively, the present study guaranties greater statistical power with respect to the previously mentioned research. This improvement can be attributed to the use of a highly disaggregated and a more recent probability sample that is representative of the Albanian farm population. The inferential analysis is carried out in R.


Agricultural economy Farm household Incentives Migration Rural culture Trans-locality 

JEL Classification Codes

Q12 Q13 R23 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Polytechnic University of MarcheAnconaItaly
  2. 2.The Agricultural University of TiranaTiranaAlbania

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