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Measuring Economic and Social Impacts of Migration in Colombia: New evidence


  • Mauricio Cárdenas


  • Carlos Medina


  • Andrés Trejos



This paper analyses a comprehensive dataset on migration using robust econometric methodologies to assess a range of economic and social impacts of migration on individuals and households left behind. Our findings indicate that there is no significant impact on labour force participation in households with migrants, but remittances do appear to have a negative effect on labour force participation. Migration (either absent or returned) increases total per capita expenditure by nearly US$35 per month while households that receive remittances increase per capita expenditures by US$49 per month on average. Expenditures in health and education also increase. However, there is no effect on school attendance, while individuals living in a household with an absent migrant are almost 4 per cent less likely to state that their health is good. Households with migration experience are around 8 per cent less likely to keep their immediate families together, with this effect particularly pronounced in the sub-group of households with return migrants. Our policy recommendations emphasize the importance of family reunification, and issue that deserves more decisive policy actions on the part of the Colombian government.

Suggested Citation

  • Mauricio Cárdenas & Carlos Medina & Andrés Trejos, 2010. "Measuring Economic and Social Impacts of Migration in Colombia: New evidence," Borradores de Economia 601, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:601

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
    2. Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Migration,sex bias, and child growth in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3946, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luis Arango & Dolores Mata & Nataly Obando, 2015. "Echoes of the crises in Spain and US in the Colombian labor market: a differences-in-differences approach," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 441-477, November.
    2. Leonardo Bonilla Mejía, 2016. "Choques externos y remesas internacionales en las regiones de Colombia," Documentos de trabajo sobre Economía Regional y Urbana 250, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    3. Luis Eduardo Arango & Paola Montenegro & Nataly Obando, 2011. "El desempleo en Pereira: ¿sólo cuestión de remesas?," Borradores de Economia 636, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

    More about this item


    International Migration; Remittances; Program Evaluation. Classification JEL: F20; F22; F24;

    JEL classification:

    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F24 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Remittances


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