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Seasonal Migration and Improving Living Standards in Vietnam

  • Alan de Brauw
  • Tomoko Harigaya

We use panel data methods to explore whether households in Vietnam used seasonal migration to increase their living standards during the 1990s. Using per capita expenditures as our primary measure of living standards and historical and latent network variables as instruments for migration, we can attribute 5.2 percentage points of annualized expenditure growth to increased migration. The results are robust to several alternative measures of living standards. As the estimates suggest migration accounts for a 3 percentage point decrease in the poverty headcount, we conclude migration played an important role in the improvement of living standards observed in Vietnam. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-8276.2006.00989.x
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Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 89 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 430-447

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:89:y:2007:i:2:p:430-447
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  1. Stefan Dercon, 2003. "Growth and Shocks: evidence from rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2003-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Taylor, J Edward & Rozelle, Scott & de Brauw, Alan, 2003. "Migration and Incomes in Source Communities: A New Economics of Migration Perspective from China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 75-101, October.
  3. Minot, Nicholas & Baulch, Bob, 2002. "The spatial distribution of poverty in Vietnam and the potential for targeting," MTID discussion papers 42, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  5. Ravallion, Martin & Van der Walle, Dominique, 2003. "Land allocation in Vietnam's agrarian transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2951, The World Bank.
  6. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt, 2002. "Agriculture and Income Distribution in Rural Vietnam under Economic Reforms: A Tale of Two Regions," Working Papers benjamin-02-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  7. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 897-930, October.
  8. Barham, Bradford & Boucher, Stephen, 1998. "Migration, remittances, and inequality: estimating the net effects of migration on income distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 307-331, April.
  9. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  10. Newey, Whitney K., 1987. "Efficient estimation of limited dependent variable models with endogenous explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 231-250, November.
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