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The Development Impact of a Best Practice Seasonal Worker Policy

  • John Gibson

    (University of Waikato)

  • David McKenzie

    (World Bank, BREAD, CEPR, CReAM and IZA)

Seasonal migration programs are widely used around the world, yet there is little evidence as to their development impacts. A multiyear prospective evaluation of New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) seasonal worker program allows us to measure the impact of participating in this program on households in Tonga and Vanuatu. Using a propensity-score prescreened difference-in-differences analysis based on surveys fielded before, during, and after participation, we find that the RSE has indeed had positive development impacts that dwarf those of other popular development interventions. It has increased income, consumption, and savings of households; durable goods ownership; and subjective standard of living. The results also suggest that child schooling improved in Tonga. © 2014 The World Bank

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00383
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 229-243

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:96:y:2014:i:2:p:229-243
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  1. L. Alan Winters & Terrie L. Walmsley & Zhen Kun Wang & Roman Grynberg, 2003. "Liberalising Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: An Agenda for the Development Round," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(8), pages 1137-1161, 08.
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  11. David McKenzie & Pilar Garcia Martinez & L. Alan Winters, 2008. "Who is coming from Vanuatu to New Zealand under the new Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Program?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0806, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
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