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Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence From Philippine Migrants%u2019 Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks

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  • Dean Yang

Abstract

This paper distinguishes between target-earnings and life-cycle motivations for return migration by examining how Philippine migrants%u2019 return decisions respond to major, unexpected exchange rate changes in their overseas locations (due to the Asian financial crisis). Overall, the evidence favors the life-cycle explanation: more favorable exchange rate shocks lead to fewer migrant returns. A 10% improvement in the exchange rate reduces the 12-month return rate by 1.4 percentage points. However, some migrants appear motivated by target-earnings considerations: in households with intermediate foreign earnings, favorable exchange rate shocks have the least effect on return migration, but lead to increases in household investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Yang, 2006. "Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence From Philippine Migrants%u2019 Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 12396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12396
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • 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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