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Migration's Income and Poverty Impact Has Been Underestimated

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  • Schiff, Maurice

    () (World Bank)

Abstract

This paper examines two issues associated with the impact of migration on household income and poverty. First, existing studies have typically overlooked a feature of migration that should be taken into account in estimating its impact, namely the fact that migration changes the size of the household. The ‘corrected’ impact that does take the change in household size into account is presented analytically and is estimated on the basis of data from Ghana’s GLSS household survey. The corrected impact is shown to be three to five times larger for income and two to three times larger for poverty than is obtained from standard analysis. Second, existing studies examine migration’s impact on the poverty of the entire sample. However, some policy questions require measures of the impact on the poverty of the migrant households themselves. The latter is shown to be twenty times larger for international migration and two to three times larger for internal migration, compared to the impact for the entire sample. It is further shown that these results hold whether the poverty measures are corrected for the change in household size.

Suggested Citation

  • Schiff, Maurice, 2006. "Migration's Income and Poverty Impact Has Been Underestimated," IZA Discussion Papers 2088, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2088
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Taylor, J. Edward, 1992. "Remittances and inequality reconsidered: Direct, indirect, and intertemporal effects," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 187-208, April.
    2. Acosta, Pablo, 2006. "Labor supply, school attendance, and remittances from international migration : the case of El Salvador," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3903, The World Bank.
    3. Adams, Richard H., Jr. & Cuecuecha, Alfredo & Page, John, 2008. "Remittances, consumption and investment in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4515, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    underestimation; poverty; income; migration; reference groups;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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