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The Moving Middle: Migration, Place Premiums and Human Development in Bolivia

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  • Gray Molina, George
  • Yañez, Ernesto
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    Abstract

    Over half of Bolivian heads of household are lifetime migrants. This paper looks at the long term impact of internal migration over human development in Bolivia. Three issues frame these effects. First, twenty five years of rural to urban migration have transformed the demographic profile of Bolivian society. The new middle third is younger, more bilingual and better educated, with more access to social services than in the past. The poorest of the poor, however, did not migrate to the extent of the non-poor. Second, urban workers make approximately four times as much wages as identical workers in rural areas, controlling for age, ethnicity, and years of schooling. Two caveats dampen this place premium effect: schooling quality and informal insurance mechanisms that make migration more costly. Third, increases in human development can be associated to an “urbanization dividend” that made social services more accessible to first and second generation migrants over a twenty-five year period. Future increases in human development, however, are likely to depend on providing quality services and expanding socials services to the rural poor, rather on gains from urbanization. The key policy challenges of the future include both an expansion of services to the poorest of the poor in rural areas and breaking down discrimination barriers against women and indigenous people in urban labor markets.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19229.

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    Date of creation: 01 Sep 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19229

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    Keywords: Migration; human development; poverty; employment; schooling;

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    1. Clemens, Michael A. & Montenegro, Claudio E. & Pritchett, Lant, 2009. "The Place Premium: Wage Differences for Identical Workers Across the US Border," Scholarly Articles 4412631, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Guillermo E. Perry & William F. Maloney & Omar S. Arias & Pablo Fajnzylber & Andrew D. Mason & Jaime Saavedra-Chanduvi, 2007. "Informality : Exit and Exclusion," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6730.
    3. Maria Tannuri-Pianto & Donald Pianto & Omar Arias, 2004. "Rural-Urban Migration In Bolivia: An Escape Boat?," Anais do XXXII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 32th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 120, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    4. Guillermo E. Perry & Omar S. Arias & J. Humberto López & William F. Maloney & Luis Servén, 2006. "Poverty Reduction and Growth : Virtuous and Vicious Circles," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6997.
    5. Francois Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Nora Lusting, 2005. "The Microeconomics of Income Distribution Dynamics in East Asia and Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14844.
    6. Morduch, J., 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Papers 512, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    7. Andersen, Lykke Eg & Mercado, Alejandro F. & Muriel H., Beatriz, 2003. "Discriminación Étnica en Bolivia: En el Sistema Educativo y el Mercado de Trabajo," Documentos de trabajo 3/2003, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana.
    8. Pablo Fajnzylber & J. Humberto López, 2008. "Remittances and Development : Lessons from Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6911.
    9. Mercado, Alejandro F. & Andersen, Lykke E. & Muriel H., Beatriz, 2003. "Discriminación étnica en el sistema educativo y el mercado de trabajo de Bolivia," Revista Latinoamericana de Desarrollo Economico, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana, issue 1, pages 63-98, Septiembr.
    10. Maurizio Bussolo & María Soledad Martínez Peria & César Calderón & Yira Mascaró & Mette E. Nielsen & Pablo Acosta & J. Humberto López & Çaglar Özden & Yoko Niimi & Luis Molina & Florencia Moiz, . "Remittances and Development: Lessons from Latin America," IDB Publications 59678, Inter-American Development Bank.
    11. Horacio Villegas & Javier Núñez, 2005. "Discriminación étnica en Bolivia: examinando diferencias regionales y por nivel de calificación," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 32(2 Year 20), pages 201-218, December.
    12. Andersen, Lykke Eg, 2002. "Migración Rural-Urbana en Bolivia: Ventajas y Desventajas," Documentos de trabajo 12/2002, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana.
    13. Lall, Somik V. & Selod, Harris & Shalizi, Zmarak, 2006. "Rural-urban migration in developing countries : a survey of theoretical predictions and empirical findings," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3915, The World Bank.
    14. Eduardo Lora, 1997. "Una década de reformas estructurales en América Latina: ¿Qué se ha reformado y cómo cuantificarlo?," Research Department Publications 4075, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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