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Internal Labor Migration as a Shock Coping Strategy: Evidence from a Typhoon

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  • André Gröger
  • Yanos Zylberberg

Abstract

We analyze how internal labor migration facilitates shock coping in rural economies. Employing high-precision satellite data, we identify objective variations in the inundations generated by a catastrophic typhoon in Vietnam and match them with household panel data before and after the shock. We find that, following a massive drop in income, households cope mainly through labor migration to urban areas. Households with settled migrants ex ante receive more remittances. Nonmigrant households react by sending new members away who then remit similar amounts than established migrants. This mechanism is most effective with long-distance migration, while local networks fail to provide insurance. (JEL J61, O15, P25, P36, Q54, R23)

Suggested Citation

  • André Gröger & Yanos Zylberberg, 2016. "Internal Labor Migration as a Shock Coping Strategy: Evidence from a Typhoon," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 123-153, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:8:y:2016:i:2:p:123-53
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20140362
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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