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Learning about migration through experiments

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  • David McKenzie

    ()
    (World Bank)

Abstract

International migration is one of the most important choices that individuals and households in poor countries can make to increase their lifetime wellbeing. This choice presents a severe challenge to researchers attempting to learn the impacts of migration, since those who choose to move typically differ in a host of observable and unobservable ways from those who choose to stay behind. This paper provides an overview of a new experimental literature which uses policy experiments and researcher-designed experiments to overcome these selection issues. Particular emphasis is placed on discussing the different datagathering strategies needed for conducing policy experiments. Experimental migration research as a field is still in its nascent stages, and there appears to be plenty of scope for both policymakers and researchers to design new experiments going forward – it is hoped that the summary here will aid researchers and policymakers in this purpose.

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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 1207.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1207

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Keywords: Migration; Experiments; Selection; Data Gathering Methods.;

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References

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  1. John Gibson & Steven Stillman & David McKenzie & Halahingano Rohorua, 2010. "Natural Experiment Evidence on the Effect of Migration on Blood Pressure and Hypertension," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1024, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Bryan, Gharad & Chowdhury, Shyamal & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq, 2012. "Seasonal Migration and Risk Aversion," CEPR Discussion Papers 8739, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. David Mckenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2004. "Network Effects and the Dynamics of Migration and Inequality: Theory and Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2004-3, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  4. Steven Stillman & David McKenzie & John Gibson, 2006. "Migration and Mental Health: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Papers in Economics 06/04, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  5. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Joshua Angrist & Susan Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag Pathak, 2009. "Accountability and Flexibility in Public Schools: Evidence from Boston's Charters and Pilots," NBER Working Papers 15549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Richard P.C. Brown & Gareth Leeves, 2007. "Impacts of International Migration and Remittances," Discussion Papers Series 347, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  7. Clingingsmith, David & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Kremer, Michael R., 2009. "Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam's Global Gathering," Scholarly Articles 3659699, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Nava Ashraf & Diego Aycinena & Claudia Martínez & Dean Yang, 2011. "Remittances and the Problem of Control: A Field Experiment Among Migrants from El Salvador," Working Papers wp341, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  9. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Stillman, Steven, 2010. "Accounting for selectivity and duration-dependent heterogeneity when estimating the impact of emigration on incomes and poverty in sending areas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5268, The World Bank.
  10. McKenzie, David & Mistiaen, Johan, 2007. "Surveying Migrant Households: A Comparison of Census-Based, Snowball, and Intercept Point Surveys," IZA Discussion Papers 3173, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2013. "A land of milk and honey with streets paved with gold: Do emigrants have over-optimistic expectations about incomes abroad?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 116-127.
  12. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2006. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 2087, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Steven Stillman & John Gibson & David Mckenzie, 2012. "The Impact Of Immigration On Child Health: Experimental Evidence From A Migration Lottery Program," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(1), pages 62-81, 01.
  14. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Stillman, Steven, 2011. "What happens to diet and child health when migration splits households? Evidence from a migration lottery program," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 7-15, February.
  15. Barham, Bradford & Boucher, Stephen, 1998. "Migration, remittances, and inequality: estimating the net effects of migration on income distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 307-331, April.
  16. Pernilla Andersson Joona & Lena Nekby, 2012. "Intensive Coaching of New Immigrants: An Evaluation Based on Random Program Assignment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 575-600, 06.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Halahingano Rohorua, 2013. "Development Impacts of Seasonal and Temporary Migration: A Review of Evidence from the Pacific and Southeast Asia," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1308, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Gharad Bryan & Shyamal Chowdhury & Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, 2014. "Under-investment in a Profitable Technology: The Case of Seasonal Migration in Bangladesh," NBER Working Papers 20172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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