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Migration and Informal Insurance

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Abstract

We document that an experimental intervention o"ering transport subsidies for poor rural households to migrate seasonally in Bangladesh improved risk sharing. A theoretical model of endogenous migration and risk sharing shows that the e"ect of subsidizing migration depends on the underlying economic environment. If migration is risky, a temporary subsidy can induce an improvement in risk sharing and enable pro"table migration. We estimate the model and "nd that the migration experiment increased welfare by 12.9%. Counterfactual analysis suggests that a permanent, rather than temporary, decline in migration costs in the same environment would result in a reduction in risk sharing.

Suggested Citation

  • Costas Meghir & Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak & Ahmed Corina Mommaerts & Ahmed Melanie Morten, 2019. "Migration and Informal Insurance," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2185R2, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jan 2021.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:2185r3
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    1. Emily A. Beam & David McKenzie & Dean Yang, 2016. "Unilateral Facilitation Does Not Raise International Labor Migration from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(2), pages 323-368.
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    6. Agha Ali Akram & Shyamal Chowdhury & Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, 2017. "Effects of Emigration on Rural Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 23929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico: Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1384-1417, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lagakos, David & Marshall, Samuel & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq & Vernot, Corey & Waugh, Michael E., 2020. "Migration costs and observational returns to migration in the developing world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 138-154.
    2. Jules Gazeaud & Eric Mvukiyehe & Olivier Sterck, 2019. "Cash Transfers and Migration: Theory and Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," CSAE Working Paper Series 2019-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Informal Insurance; Migration; Bangladesh; RCT;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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