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Intended versus unintended consequences of migration restriction policies: evidence from a natural experiment in Indonesia

Author

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  • Mattia Makovec
  • Ririn S Purnamasari
  • Matteo Sandi
  • Astrid R Savitri

Abstract

This article studies the consequences of restrictions to migration at the origin on labor market outcomes and school enrolment in origin communities. Our difference-in-differences specification exploits the differential impact across districts in Indonesia of a reform that restricted the migration of Indonesian female domestic workers towards Saudi Arabia in 2011. Our results suggest that this reform did not lead to higher unemployment in Indonesia, but it increased the proportion of workers employed in informal jobs and in agriculture. No detectable change in the consumption patterns of Indonesian households appears from our analysis, suggesting that rural areas in Indonesia could absorb the sudden increase in the availability of workforce. Our findings also show an increase in junior secondary school enrolment of both males and females, arguably reflecting the importance of the maternal presence in the household for the investment in human capital of children.

Suggested Citation

  • Mattia Makovec & Ririn S Purnamasari & Matteo Sandi & Astrid R Savitri, 2018. "Intended versus unintended consequences of migration restriction policies: evidence from a natural experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 915-950.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:18:y:2018:i:4:p:915-950.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor migration; migration policy; female migrants; migration restrictions; local labor markets; Indonesia;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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