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Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks

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  • Dean Yang

    (University of Michigan and NBER)

Abstract

This paper distinguishes between target-earnings and life cycle motivations for return migration by examining how Philippine migrants' return decisions respond to major, unexpected exchange rate changes in their overseas locations (due to the Asian financial crisis). Overall, the evidence favors the life cycle explanation: more favorable exchange rate shocks lead to fewer migrant returns.A10% improvement in the exchange rate reduces the 12-month return rate by 1.4 percentage points. However, some migrants appear motivated by target-earnings considerations: in households with intermediate foreign earnings, favorable exchange rate shocks have the least effect on return migration, but lead to increases in household investment. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Yang, 2006. "Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 715-735, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:88:y:2006:i:4:p:715-735
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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