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Unilateral Facilitation Does Not Raise International Labor Migration from the Philippines

  • David McKenzie

    ()

    (Development Research Group, The World Bank)

  • Emily Beam

    ()

    (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)

  • Dean Yang

    ()

    (Economics Department, University of Michigan)

Significant income gains from migrating from poorer to richer countries have motivated unilateral (source-country) policies facilitating labor emigration. However, their effectiveness is unknown. We conducted a large-scale randomized experiment in the Philippines testing the impact of unilaterally facilitating international labor migration. Our most intensive treatment doubled the rate of job offers but had no identifiable effect on international labor migration. Even the highest overseas job-search rate we induced (22%) falls far short of the share initially expressing interest in migrating (34%). We conclude that unilateral migration facilitation will at most induce a trickle, not a flood, of additional emigration.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 1319.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1319
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  1. Ortega, Javier, 2000. "Pareto-Improving Immigration in an Economy with Equilibrium Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 92-112, January.
  2. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2010. "The development impact of a best practice seasonal worker policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5488, The World Bank.
  3. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2007. "A land of milk and honey with streets paved with gold : do emigrants have over-optimistic expectations about incomes abroad ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4141, The World Bank.
  4. Ozden, Caglar & Parsons, Christopher R. & Schiff, Maurice & Walmsley, Terrie L., 2011. "Where on earth is everybody ? the evolution of global bilateral migration 1960-2000," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5709, The World Bank.
  5. Michael A. Clemens, 2011. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 83-106, Summer.
  6. Michael Clemens & Claudio Montenegro & Lant Pritchett, 2008. "The Place Premium: Wage Differences for Identical Workers across the U.S. Border," Working Papers 148, Center for Global Development.
  7. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants," NBER Working Papers 13821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Dean Yang, 2004. "Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence from Philippine Migrants’ Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks," Working Papers 513, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  9. McKenzie, David & Theoharides, Caroline & Yang, Dean, 2012. "Distortions in the international migrant labor market :evidence from Filipino migration and wage responses to destination country economic shocks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6041, The World Bank.
  10. Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2012. "Thinking Small: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty : Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 115-27, March.
  11. Gharad Bryan & Shyamal Chowdhury & A. Mushfiq Mobarak, 2011. "Seasonal Migration and Risk Aversion," Working Papers id:4650, eSocialSciences.
  12. Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of the International Migration of Labor," NBER Working Papers 14490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, 06.
  14. Christian Lumpe & Benjamin Weigert, 2009. "Immigration Policy, Equilibrium Unemployment, and Underinvestment in Human Capital," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(1), pages 97-130, 03.
  15. McKenzie, David J., 2005. "Paper walls are easier to tear down : passport costs and legal barriers to emigration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3783, The World Bank.
  16. Puri, Shivani & Ritzema, Tineke, 1999. "Migrant worker remittances, micro-finance and the informal economy : prospects and issues," ILO Working Papers 357609, International Labour Organization.
  17. Gharad Bryan & Shyamal Chowdhury & Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, 2014. "Under-investment in a Profitable Technology: The Case of Seasonal Migration in Bangladesh," NBER Working Papers 20172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
  19. Orley C. Ashenfelter, 2012. "Comparing Real Wages," NBER Working Papers 18006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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