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Migration as a Substitute for Informal Activities: Evidence from Tajikistan

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  • Ilhom Abdulloev

    ()
    (Rutgers University)

  • Ira N. Gang

    ()
    (Rutgers University & Fellow of IZA, OEI, CReaM)

  • John Landon-Lane

    ()
    (Rutgers University)

Abstract

How is migration related to informal activities? They may be complementary since new migrants may have difficulty finding employment in formal work, so many of them end up informally employed. Alternatively, migration and informality may be substitutes since migrants' incomes in their new locations and income earned in the home informal economy (without migration) are an imperfect trade-off. Tajikistan possesses both a very large informal sector and extensive international emigration. Using the gap between household expenditure and income as an indicator of informal activity, we find negative significant correlations between informal activities and migration: the gap between expenditure and income falls in the presence of migration. Furthermore, Tajikistan's professional workers ability to engage in informal activities enables them to forgo migration, while low-skilled non-professionals without post-secondary education choose to migrate instead of working in the informal sector. Our empirical evidence suggests migration and informality substitute for one another.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 1124.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1124

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Keywords: informal; migration; remittances; Tajikistan;

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  1. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  2. Grimm, Michael & Gunther, Isabel, 2005. "Inter- and Intra-household Linkages Between the Informal and Formal Sector: A Case Study for Urban Burkina Faso," Working Paper Series RP2005/14, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. Falkingham, Jane, 2004. "Poverty, out-of-pocket payments and access to health care: evidence from Tajikistan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 247-258, January.
  4. Ira N. Gang & Ralitza Dimova, 2004. "Self-Selection And Earnings During Volatile Transition," Departmental Working Papers 200409, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  5. Dimova, Ralitza & Gang, Ira N. & Landon-Lane, John, 2005. "The Informal Sector During Crisis and Transition," Working Paper Series RP2005/18, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. Gang, Ira N. & Gangopadhyay, Shubhashis, 1987. "Employment, output and the choice of techniques : The trade-off revisited," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 321-327, April.
  7. Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
  8. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  9. Gang, Ira N & Gangopadhyay, Shubhashis, 1987. "Optimal Policies in a Dual Economy with Open Unemployment and Surplus Labour," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(2), pages 378-87, June.
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