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Experimental Approaches in Migration Studies

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Author Info

  • McKenzie, David

    ()
    (World Bank)

  • Yang, Dean

    ()
    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

The decision of whether or not to migrate has far-reaching consequences for the lives of individuals and their families. But the very nature of this choice makes identifying the impacts of migration difficult, since it is hard to measure a credible counterfactual of what the person and their household would have been doing had migration not occurred. Migration experiments provide a clear and credible way for identifying this counterfactual, and thereby allowing causal estimation of the impacts of migration. We provide an overview and critical review of the three strands of this approach: policy experiments, natural experiments, and researcher-led field experiments. The purpose is to introduce readers to the need for this approach, give examples of where it has been applied in practice, and draw out lessons for future work in this area.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5125.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Carlos Vargas-Silva (ed.), Handbook of Research Methods in Migration, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012, 249-269
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5125

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Related research

Keywords: self-selection; identification; experiment; remittances; migration;

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References

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  1. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. HwaJung Choi, 2007. "Are Remittances Insurance? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in the Philippines," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 219-248, May.
  4. 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.
  5. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Steven Stillman, 2009. "The Impacts of International Migration on Remaining Household Members: Omnibus Results from a Migration Lottery Program," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0920, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  6. Jonathan Zinman & Dean Karlan, 2009. "Expanding Microenterprise Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts in Manila," Working Papers 976, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  7. Stillman, Steven & McKenzie, David & Gibson, John, 2009. "Migration and mental health: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 677-687, May.
  8. Yang Dean, 2008. "Coping with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2002," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-45, June.
  9. Dean Yang, 2008. "International Migration, Remittances and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 591-630, 04.
  10. Dustmann, Christian, 2003. "Return migration, wage differentials, and the optimal migration duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 353-369, April.
  11. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Yegorov, Yuri, 1997. "Migrants' Savings, Purchasing Power Parity, and the Optimal Duration of Migration," Economics Series 44, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  12. Claudia Martínez Alvear & Dean Yang, 2007. "Remittances and Poverty in Migrants’ Home Areas: Evidence from the Philippines," Working Papers wp257, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  13. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
  14. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Stark, Oded, 1987. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Bulletins 7515, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  15. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, randomization, and learning about development," Working Papers 1224, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  16. Antman, Francisca M., 2011. "The intergenerational effects of paternal migration on schooling and work: What can we learn from children's time allocations?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 200-208, November.
  17. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-18, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Globalization, Brain Drain and Development," Working Papers 2011-18, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  2. Rob Hodgson & Jacques Poot, 2011. "New Zealand Research on the Economic Impacts of Immigration 2005-2010: Synthesis and Research Agenda," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1104, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.

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