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The International Migration of Women


  • Andrew R. Morrison
  • Maurice Schiff
  • Mirja Sjöblom


Women now account for nearly half of all international migration. Theoretical and empirical models that omit gendered determinants and impacts of migration are missing key elements of the story. Women's roles in destination labor markets and in remittance flows-to cite just two examples-are crucial to understanding the development impacts of international migration. This volume surveys the state of our knowledge and provides new research on the gendered determinants and impacts of migration and remittances as well as on the patterns of labor market participation of women migrants. It also sketches a road map for future research on gender and international migration. This research on women and international migration illustrates the type of analytical work that can shape policies to economically empower women migrants as well as women left behind by male migration. It is authors' hope that such analysis will lead to policies that boost productivity, raise incomes, and improve welfare in both sending and receiving countries. This volume addresses several issues. The introductory chapter provides an overview of the volume; it includes a description of methodology, data, main results, and conclusions from the six remaining chapters. The second chapter reviews the existing research on gender and international migration and can be considered a starting point for the remaining chapters. The third chapter focuses on the gendered determinants of migration and remittances in rural Mexico, an important sending country. The following two chapters (chapters 4 and 5) address the impact of migration and remittances on sending countries and provide analysis of household- level data from Ghana and Mexico. Chapter 6 turns to the labor market participation and performance of female migrants in a major destination country, the United States. The volume concludes with a forward-looking chapter that summarizes the major findings, links those to migration policy, and outlines some of the important research and policy issues that need to be addressed in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew R. Morrison & Maurice Schiff & Mirja Sjöblom, 2007. "The International Migration of Women," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6804, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:6804

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dreze, Jean & Sen, Amartya, 2002. "India: Development and Participation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199257492.
    2. Fargues, Philippe, 2006. "The demographic benefit of international migration : hypothesis and application to the Middle Eastern and North African contexts," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4050, The World Bank.
    3. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2005. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 215-240, October.
    4. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Differences in the labor market behavior between temporary and permanent migrant women," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 29-46, March.
    5. Giovanni Peri, 2007. "Immigrants' Complementarities and Native Wages: Evidence from California," NBER Working Papers 12956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Docquier, Frédéric & Marfouk, Abdeslam & Salomone, Sara & Sekkat, Khalid, 2012. "Are Skilled Women More Migratory than Skilled Men?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 251-265.
    2. Ruyssen, Ilse & Salomone, Sara, 2018. "Female migration: A way out of discrimination?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 224-241.
    3. Frederic, DOCQUIER & B. Lindsay, LOWELL & Abdeslam, MARFOUK, 2007. "A gendered assessment of the brain drain," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007045, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    4. Richard Adams & Marie Alienor van den Bosch & Jennifer Keller & Lili Mottaghi, 2009. "The Impact of Remittances on Growth Evidence from North African Countries," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12985, The World Bank.
    5. Emmanuel Skoufias & Gladys Lopez-Acevedo, 2009. "Latin America - Determinants of Regional Welfare Disparities within Latin American Countries : Synthesis," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3048, The World Bank.
    6. Ibrahim Sirkeci & Jeffrey H. Cohen & Dilip Ratha, 2012. "Migration and Remittances during the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13092, March.
    7. Frédéric Docquier & B. Lindsay Lowell & Abdeslam Marfouk, 2009. "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 297-321.


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