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Migration, Risk and the Intra-Household Allocation of Labor in El Salvador

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  • Timothy J. Halliday

    ()
    (Department of Economics and John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Abstract

We use panel data from El Salvador to investigate the intra-household allocation of labor as a risk-coping strategy. We show that adverse agricultural productivity shocks primarily increased male migration to the US with much smaller effects on female migration. This is consistent with the observation that the bulk of households allocated no women to the agricultural sector. These shocks also increased the number of hours that the household devoted to agricultural activities. These results do not contradict each other if one considers the possibility that the shocks had non-monotonic effects on shadow wages during the survey period. In contrast, damage sustained from the 2001 earthquakes exclusively stunted female migration. We argue that the reasons for this were that the earthquakes increased the demand for home production and that most men in our data are not engaged in domestic production at all.

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File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_07-19R.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200719.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 08 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200719

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Keywords: Migration; Labor Supply; Insurance; Intra-Household Allocation;

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  1. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1996. "Comparative Advantage, Information and the Allocation of Workers to Tasks: Evidence from an Agricultural Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 347-74, July.
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  12. Halliday, Timothy, 2006. "Migration, Risk, and Liquidity Constraints in El Salvador," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 893-925, July.
  13. Udry, Christopher, 1995. "Risk and Saving in Northern Nigeria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1287-1300, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Bhalotra, Sonia, 2010. "Fatal fluctuations? Cyclicality in infant mortality in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 7-19, September.

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