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The Impact of International Migration and Remittances on the Labor-Supply Behavior of Those Left behind: Evidence from Egypt


  • Christine Binzel
  • Ragui Assaad


We analyze in this paper the impact of male-dominated migration and remittance income on the participation and hours worked decisions of adults left behind, including the hours spent by women in subsistence and domestic work. We differentiate between a 'pure' migration ("M") effect and the joint effect of migration and remittance income ("MR") and evaluate these effects for men and women separately. Additionally, we examine the labor supply behavior of wives whose husband migrated. We draw on the 2006 cross section using an instrumental variable approach as well as on the 1998/2006 panel of the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey (ELMPS06). In line with the literature, women in MR households (albeit not in M households) tend to reduce their wage and salary work. We find evidence for both intra-household specialization and an increase in women's (and wives') total work load. Men are generally less affected. Our results suggest that it is important to differentiate between these two effects and between the different forms of market and non-market work as well as to consider the relationship between remitter and recipient.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine Binzel & Ragui Assaad, 2009. "The Impact of International Migration and Remittances on the Labor-Supply Behavior of Those Left behind: Evidence from Egypt," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 954, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp954

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:wsi:medjxx:v:04:y:2012:i:01:n:s1793812012300017 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Herrera, Santiago & Badr, Karim, 2011. "Why does the productivity of education vary across individuals in Egypt ? firm size, gender, and access to technology as sources of heterogeneity in returns to education," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5740, The World Bank.
    3. Herrera, Santiago & Youssef, Hoda & Youssef, Hoda & Zaki, Chahir, 2010. "Egypt beyond the crisis : medium-term challenges for sustained growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5451, The World Bank.
    4. Francesca Marchetta, 2012. "The Impact Of Migration On The Labor Markets In The Arab Mediterranean Countries," Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 4(01), pages 1-47.

    More about this item


    migration; remittances; labor supply; time allocation; gender;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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