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Unilateral Facilitation Does Not Raise International Labor Migration from the Philippines

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Author Info

  • David McKenzie

    ()
    (Development Research Group, The World Bank)

  • Emily Beam

    ()
    (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)

  • Dean Yang

    ()
    (Economics Department, University of Michigan)

Abstract

Significant income gains from migrating from poorer to richer countries have motivated unilateral (source-country) policies facilitating labor emigration. However, their effectiveness is unknown. We conducted a large-scale randomized experiment in the Philippines testing the impact of unilaterally facilitating international labor migration. Our most intensive treatment doubled the rate of job offers but had no identifiable effect on international labor migration. Even the highest overseas job-search rate we induced (22%) falls far short of the share initially expressing interest in migrating (34%). We conclude that unilateral migration facilitation will at most induce a trickle, not a flood, of additional emigration.

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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 1319.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1319

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Keywords: International migration; passport costs; barriers to migration; unilateral migration policy; imperfect information; job-matching; field experiment; Philippines;

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References

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  1. Gharad Bryan & Shyamal Chowdhury & A. Mushfiq Mobarak, 2011. "Seasonal Migration and Risk Aversion," Working Papers id:4650, eSocialSciences.
  2. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
  3. 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.
  4. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, 06.
  5. Dean Yang, 2004. "Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence from Philippine Migrants’ Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks," Working Papers 513, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  6. Ortega, Javier, 2000. "Pareto-Improving Immigration in an Economy with Equilibrium Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 92-112, January.
  7. Orley C. Ashenfelter, 2012. "Comparing Real Wages," NBER Working Papers 18006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Batista, Catia & Narciso, Gaia, 2013. "Migrant Remittances and Information Flows: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7839, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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