A Multivariate Model Of Rural Mobility In Peninsular Malaysia

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Sciences


Richard G. Braungart



Subject Categories

Demography, Population, and Ecology


This individual-level study examines the process of potential rural mobility in contemporary Peninsular Malaysia. Specifically, it evaluates a model that presumes asymmetrical linkages among three temporal dimensions: the independent dimension of social-structural variables (sex, age, marital status, education, ethnicity, land tenure, and household occupation), the intervening dimension of personal and cognitive attributes (migration experience, occupational mobility, current employment status, and earnings expectation), and the dependent dimension of rural mobility (migration propensity and subsequent destination preference of potential emigrants).

Conducted by a previous study, a cross-sectional sample survey of 865 respondents from 98 villages provided the data for this research. Although preliminary examinations of the data made use of both descriptive univariate and correlational statistics, the major methodological technique employed to test the specified multivariate relationships was the path analysis.

The empirical results showed the model to be moderately successful, accounting for 39 per cent of the variance in migration propensity and 9 per cent of the variance in destination preference. The findings indicated that potential emigrants were likely to be already experienced movers, had expectation of higher earnings, and tended to be males, currently unemployed, Malays, and individuals from peasant households. Age, marital status, education, and land tenure did not show significant independent effects on potential mobility except indirectly through the intervening mechanisms of previous migration, employment status, and perception. Additional findings suggested that potential rural-urban migrants were single, came from the more affluent nonfarm and landowning households, and were also non-Malays; conversely, rural-rural movers were already married, came from the relatively poorer peasant and landless households, and were identified as being Malay.

It is concluded that the larger transitional process of integrating the traditional peasantry into the modern cash economy has caused structural imbalances, urban sector bias, and, consequently, rural mobility. Unless the sectoral differences especially in terms of employment and income-generating opportunities decline, it remains likely that the rural population will continue to be on the move and thus be unstable in the future.


Surface provides description only. Full text is available to ProQuest subscribers. Ask your Librarian for assistance.