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Emigration and Alcohol Consumption among Migrant Household Members Staying Behind: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan

Author

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  • Paulone, Sara

    (University of Siena)

  • Ivlevs, Artjoms

    (University of the West of England, Bristol)

Abstract

Despite the growth of alcohol consumption and international migration in many developing countries, the links between the two remain underexplored. We study the relationship between emigration of household members, receiving remittances (migrant monetary transfers), and alcohol consumption of migrant household members staying behind in Kyrgyzstan, a poor post-socialist country that has recently witnessed both large-scale emigration and a rise in alcohol-related health problems. Using a large longitudinal survey, we find that, among the ethnic majority (Kyrgyz), an increase in migrant remittances is associated with a higher likelihood and frequency of consuming alcohol, as well as an increase in the consumption of beer. Among ethnic Russians, the emigration of family members who do not send remittances back home is associated with an increased likelihood and frequency of alcohol consumption. We discuss possible mechanisms through which emigration and remittances may affect the alcohol consumption of those staying behind, including the relaxation of budget constraints and psychological distress. Overall, our findings suggest that the emigration of household members contribute to a greater alcohol consumption among those staying behind, and highlight the role of remittances and cultural background in understanding the nuances in this relationship.

Suggested Citation

  • Paulone, Sara & Ivlevs, Artjoms, 2019. "Emigration and Alcohol Consumption among Migrant Household Members Staying Behind: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan," IZA Discussion Papers 12075, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12075
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    monetary remittances; Central Asia; Kyrgyzstan; alcoholism; emigration; social remittances;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F24 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Remittances
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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