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Temporary migration and self-employment: evidence from Tunisia


  • Alice Mesnard


Based on statistics from the Central bank of Tunisia and on a survey describing Tunisian workers who have returned from migration, this paper shows that temporary migration has potentially important consequences for sending countries like Tunisia. The effects operate through at least two channels. On one hand, transfers sent by migrants to their origin country represent a sizeable source of foreign currency and income. On the other, savings repatriated upon return under different types of goods allow poor workers to overcome credit constraints for investment into small projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Alice Mesnard, 2004. "Temporary migration and self-employment: evidence from Tunisia," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(1), pages 119-138.
  • Handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:y:2004:v:47:i:1:p:119-138

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schmidt, Christoph M. & Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Bauer, Thomas K., 2004. "International Labor Migration, Economic Growth and Labor Markets - The Current State of Affairs," RWI Discussion Papers 20, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    2. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2001. "Why Do Firms Recruit Internationally? Results from the IZA International Employer Survey 2000," IZA Discussion Papers 331, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Gil S. Epstein & Astrid Kunze & Melanie E. Ward, 2009. "High-Skilled Migration And The Exertion Of Effort By The Local Population," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(3), pages 332-352, July.
    5. Winkelmann, Rainer & Kunze, Astrid & Locher, Lilo & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2001. "Report No. 4: Die Nachfrage nach internationalen hochqualifizierten Beschäftigten," IZA Research Reports 4, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Jaan Masso & Raul Eamets & Pille Mõtsmees, 2013. "The Effect of Temporary Migration Experience on Occupational Mobility in Estonia," CESifo Working Paper Series 4322, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. I-Ling Shen & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Remittances and inequality: a dynamic migration model," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(2), pages 197-220, June.
    3. Masso, Jaan & Eamets, Raul & Mõtsmees, Pille, 2013. "The Effect of Migration Experience on Occupational Mobility in Estonia," IZA Discussion Papers 7482, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Marion Mercier & Anda David & Ramón Mahia & Rafael De Arce, 2016. "Reintegration upon return: insights from Ecuadorian returnees from Spain," Working Papers DT/2016/04, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    5. Anda David & Mohamed Ali Marouani, 2017. "Migration patterns and labor market outcomes in Tunisia," Working Papers DT/2017/03, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    6. Chauvet, Lisa & Mercier, Marion, 2014. "Do return migrants transfer political norms to their origin country? Evidence from Mali," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 630-651.
    7. Pinger, Pia R., 2007. "Come back or stay? - Spend here or there?: Temporary versus permanent migration and remittance patterns in the Republic of Moldova," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 438, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. repec:bla:intmig:v:51:y:2017:i:1:p:127-154 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Anda M. David, 2017. "Back to Square One: Socioeconomic Integration of Deported Migrants," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 127-154, March.

    More about this item


    international migration; investment; credit constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • H81 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Governmental Loans; Loan Guarantees; Credits; Grants; Bailouts


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