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Migration, Risk, and Liquidity Constraints in El Salvador

  • Halliday, Timothy

This article utilizes panel data from El Salvador to investigate the use of transnational migration as an ex post risk management strategy. I show that adverse agricultural conditions in El Salvador increase both migration to the United States and remittances sent back to El Salvador. I show that, in the absence of any agricultural shocks, the probability that a household sent members to the United States would have decreased on average by 24.26%. I also show that the 2001 earthquakes reduced net migration to the United States. A one standard deviation increase in earthquake damage reduced the average probability of northward migration by 37.11%. The evidence suggests that the effects of the earthquakes had more to do with households retaining labor at home to cope with the effects of the disaster than with the earthquakes disrupting migration financing.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 54 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 893-925

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:y:2006:v:54:i:4:p:893-925
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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  1. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Savings, credit and insurance," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2123-2207 Elsevier.
  2. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1988. "Risk, Implicit Contracts and the Family in Rural Areas of Low-income Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1148-70, December.
  3. Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
  4. Udry, Christopher, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526, July.
  5. Powell, James L., 1984. "Least absolute deviations estimation for the censored regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-325, July.
  6. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-91, May.
  7. Martin Ravallion & Shubham Chaudhuri, 1997. "Risk and Insurance in Village India: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 171-184, January.
  8. Stark, Oded & Levhari, David, 1982. "On Migration and Risk in LDCs," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 191-96, October.
  9. Udry, Christopher, 1995. "Risk and Saving in Northern Nigeria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1287-1300, December.
  10. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-26, August.
  11. Robert MOFFIT & John FITZGERALD & Peter GOTTSCHALK, 1999. "Sample Attrition in Panel Data: The Role of Selection on Observables," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 55-56, pages 129-152.
  12. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  13. Hoddinott, John, 1994. "A Model of Migration and Remittances Applied to Western Kenya," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 459-76, July.
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