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Channeling Remittances to Education: A Field Experiment Among Migrants from El Salvador

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  • Kate Ambler
  • Diego Aycinena
  • Dean Yang

Abstract

We implement a randomized experiment offering Salvadoran migrants matching funds for educational remittances, which are channeled directly to a beneficiary student in El Salvador chosen by the migrant. The matches lead to increased educational expenditures, higher private school attendance, and lower labor supply of youths in El Salvador households connected to migrant study participants. We find substantial "crowd-in" of educational investments: for each $1 received by beneficiaries, educational expenditures increase by $3.72. We find no shifting of expenditures away from other students, and no effect on remittances.

Suggested Citation

  • Kate Ambler & Diego Aycinena & Dean Yang, 2014. "Channeling Remittances to Education: A Field Experiment Among Migrants from El Salvador," NBER Working Papers 20262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20262
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    2. Ambler, Kate, 2015. "Don't tell on me: Experimental evidence of asymmetric information in transnational households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 52-69.
    3. Fadi Hassan & Paolo Lucchino, 2016. "Powering Education," Natural Field Experiments 00566, The Field Experiments Website.
    4. Parag Mahajan & Dean Yang, 2020. "Taken by Storm: Hurricanes, Migrant Networks, and US Immigration," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 250-277, April.
    5. Belot, Michèle & James, Jonathan, 2016. "Partner selection into policy relevant field experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 31-56.
    6. Keerti Mallela & Sunny Kumar Singh & Archana Srivastava, 2020. "Estimating Bilateral Remittances in a Macroeconomic Framework: Evidence from top Remittance-Receiving Countries," Studies in Microeconomics, , vol. 8(1), pages 95-118, June.
    7. Clemens, Michael A., 2021. "Violence, development, and migration waves: Evidence from Central American child migrant apprehensions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    8. Catia Batista & Gaia Narciso, 2018. "Migrant Remittances and Information Flows: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 203-219.
    9. De Arcangelis, Giuseppe & Joxhe, Majlinda & McKenzie, David & Tiongson, Erwin & Yang, Dean, 2015. "Directing remittances to education with soft and hard commitments: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment and new product take-up among Filipino migrants in Rome," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 197-208.
    10. Ma, Yechi & Chen, Zhiguo & Shinwari, Riazullah & Khan, Zeeshan, 2021. "Financialization, globalization, and Dutch disease: Is Dutch disease exist for resources rich countries?," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    11. Yu Bai & Linxiu Zhang & Chengfang Liu & Yaojiang Shi & Di Mo & Scott Rozelle, 2018. "Effect of Parental Migration on the Academic Performance of Left Behind Children in North Western China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(7), pages 1154-1170, July.
    12. Shohfi, Thomas D. & White, Roger M., 2022. "Does native country turmoil predict immigrant workers’ honesty in markets?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 197(C), pages 150-164.
    13. Gonzalo Cómbita Mora & Óscar Pérez Rodríguez, 2020. "International Remittances and Child Welfare: A Case Study on Cali Colombia," Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, Universidad de los Andes – Facultad de Economía – CEDE, vol. 86(3), pages 73-103, November.
    14. David McKenzie & Dean Yang, 2015. "Evidence on Policies to Increase the Development Impacts of International Migration," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 155-192.
    15. Björn NILSSON, 2019. "Education and migration: insights for policymakers," Working Paper 23ca9c54-061a-4d60-967c-f, Agence française de développement.
    16. Magnan, Nicholas & Hoffmann, Vivian & Opoku, Nelson & Gajate Garrido, Gissele & Kanyam, Daniel Akwasi, 2021. "Information, technology, and market rewards: Incentivizing aflatoxin control in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    17. Kate Ambler & Diego Aycinena & Dean Yang, 2014. "Remittance Responses to Temporary Discounts: A Field Experiment among Central American Migrants," NBER Working Papers 20522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Bai, Yu & Yang, Ning & Wang, Lei & Zhang, Siqi, 2022. "The impacts of maternal migration on the cognitive development of preschool-aged children left behind in rural China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).
    19. Kate Ambler & Susan Godlonton, 2020. "Information Asymmetries and Remittance Recipient Income: A Field Experiment in Malawi," Department of Economics Working Papers 2020-12, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    20. Licuanan, Victoria & Omar Mahmoud, Toman & Steinmayr, Andreas, 2015. "The Drivers of Diaspora Donations for Development: Evidence from the Philippines," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 94-109.
    21. Giuseppe Arcangelis & Majlinda Joxhe, 2021. "Intra-household allocation with shared expenditure choices: experimental evidence from Filipino migrants," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 1245-1274, December.
    22. Asatryan, Zareh & Bittschi, Benjamin & Doerrenberg, Philipp, 2017. "Remittances and public finances: Evidence from oil-price shocks," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 122-137.
    23. Ambler, Kate, 2013. "Don’t tell on me: Experimental evidence of asymmetric information in transnational households:," IFPRI discussion papers 1312, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    24. Adelman,Melissa Ann & Szekely,Miguel, 2016. "School dropout in Central America : an overview of trends, causes, consequences, and promising interventions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7561, The World Bank.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F24 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Remittances
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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