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Skill Transferability, Migration, and Development: Evidence from Population Resettlement in Indonesia

Author

Listed:
  • Samuel Bazzi

    () (Boston University & BREAD)

  • Arya Gaduh

    () (University of Arkansas)

  • Alexander D. Rothenberg

    () (RAND Corporation)

  • Maisy Wong

    () (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

We use a natural experiment in Indonesia to provide causal evidence on the role of location-specific human capital and skill transferability in shaping the spatial distribution of productivity. From 1979– 1988, the Transmigration Program relocated two million migrants from rural Java and Bali to new rural settlements in the Outer Islands. Villages assigned migrants from regions with more similar agroclimatic endowments exhibit higher rice productivity and nighttime light intensity one to two decades later. We find some evidence of migrants’ adaptation to agroclimatic change. Overall, our re- sults suggest that regional productivity differences may overstate the potential gains from migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Bazzi & Arya Gaduh & Alexander D. Rothenberg & Maisy Wong, 2015. "Skill Transferability, Migration, and Development: Evidence from Population Resettlement in Indonesia," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2015-026, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2015-026
    as

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    File URL: https://sites.google.com/site/samuelbazzi/research/MigSim_Manuscript.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internal Migration; Comparative Advantage; Spatial Labor Allocation; Agricultural Adaptation;

    JEL classification:

    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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