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International Migration, Remittances, and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks

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  • Dean Yang

Abstract

Millions of households in developing countries receive financial support from family members working overseas. How do migrant earnings affect origin-household investments? This paper examines Philippine households%u2019 responses to overseas members%u2019 economic shocks. Overseas Filipinos work in dozens of foreign countries, which experienced sudden (and heterogeneous) changes in exchange rates due to the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Appreciation of a migrant%u2019s currency against the Philippine peso leads to increases in household remittances received from overseas. The estimated elasticity of Philippine-peso remittances with respect to the Philippine/foreign exchange rate is 0.60. These positive income shocks lead to enhanced human capital accumulation and entrepreneurship in migrants%u2019 origin households. Child schooling and educational expenditure rise, while child labor falls. In the area of entrepreneurship, households raise hours worked in self-employment, and become more likely to start relatively capital-intensive household enterprises.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Yang, 2006. "International Migration, Remittances, and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 12325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12325
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    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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