Eliciting illegal migration rates through list randomization
AbstractMost migration surveys do not ask about the legal status of migrants due to concerns about the sensitivity of this question. List randomization is a technique that has been used in a number of other social science applications to elicit sensitive information. We trial this technique by adding it to surveys conducted in Ethiopia, Mexico, Morocco and the Philippines. We show how, in principle, this can be used to both give an estimate of the overall rate of illegal migration in the population being surveyed, as well as to determine illegal migration rates for subgroups such as more or less educated households. Our results suggest that there is some indication in this method: we find higher rates of illegal migration in countries where illegal migration is thought to be more prevalent and households who say they have a migrant are more likely to report having an illegal migrant. Nevertheless, some of our other findings also suggest some possible inconsistencies or noise in the conclusions obtained using this method, so we suggest directions for future attempts to implement this approach in migration surveys.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 023.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
migration; illegal migration; research methods; list randomization; item count method; survey techniques; surveys;
Other versions of this item:
- David McKenzie & Melissa Siegel, 2013. "Eliciting Illegal migration rates through list randomization," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1310, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
- McKenzie, David & Siegel, Melissa, 2013. "Eliciting illegal migration rates through list randomization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6426, The World Bank.
- McKenzie, David & Siegel, Melissa, 2013. "Eliciting Illegal Migration Rates through List Randomization," IZA Discussion Papers 7401, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
- C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-11-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAW-2013-11-29 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2013-11-29 (Economics of Human Migration)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Karlan, Dean S. & Zinman, Jonathan, 2012.
"List randomization for sensitive behavior: An application for measuring use of loan proceeds,"
Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier,
Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 71-75.
- Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2011. "List Randomization for Sensitive Behavior: An Application for Measuring Use of Loan Proceeds," NBER Working Papers 17475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bruhn, Miriam & Lara Ibarra, Gabriel & McKenzie, David, 2013. "Why is voluntary financial education so unpopular ? Experimental evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6439, The World Bank.
- Alexander L. Janus, 2010. "The Influence of Social Desirability Pressures on Expressed Immigration Attitudes," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 91(4), pages 928-946.
- Gordon H. Hanson, 2006.
"Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States,"
NBER Working Papers
12141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 869-924, December.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Three new papers on measuring stuff that is difficult to measure
by ? in Development Impact on 2013-07-08 15:32:00
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ad Notten).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.