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Continental vs. Intercontinental Migration: An Empirical Analysis of the Impacts of Immigration Reforms on Burkina Faso


  • Fleur Wouterse


This working paper uses an agricultural household model to explore the impact of potential immigration policy reforms on the welfare of rural households in Burkina Faso. Simulation results demonstrate that, in contrast to continental migration, increased intercontinental migration has strong positive household welfare effects. Similarly, an increase in the stay abroad of intercontinental migrants impacts positively on welfare. Findings lend support to the introduction of a Temporary Migration Programme (TMP) which, by lowering the cost involved, would enable poorer households to engage in intercontinental migration. The temporary nature of such a program ensures that ‚Dutch disease? effects are mitigated through eventual migrant return. Granting of legal status to migrants already abroad through a temporary work and residence permit is also recommended if the objective is to improve the welfare of migrant-sending households. Legalisation can be granted under the same TMP so that the eventual return of migrants would be encouraged. Ce document de travail repose sur un modèle décrivant des ménages agricoles pour étudier l’impact de réformes potentielles des politiques migratoires sur le bien-être en zone rurale au Burkina Faso. Les résultats des simulations démontrent qu’à la différence des migrations continentales, l’effet des migrations intercontinentales est plus important sur le bien-être du ménage. De même, une durée plus longue de séjour à l’étranger des migrants intercontinentaux a un impact positif sur le bien-être. Les résultats constituent un argument en faveur de la mise en place d’un programme de migrations temporaires (PMT) qui en abaissant le coût des migrations intercontinentales permettrait aux ménages les plus pauvres de recourir aux migrations intercontinentales. La nature temporaire d’un tel programme permet d’atténuer les effets liés au « syndrome hollandais » de par un retour éventuel des migrants. Accorder un statut légal aux migrants qui sont déjà à l’étranger avec un permis de travail temporaire et un permis de résidence est aussi recommandé si l’objectif est d’améliorer le bien-être des ménages de migrants. La légalisation peut être accordée selon le même PMT afin d’encourager le retour éventuel des migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Fleur Wouterse, 2011. "Continental vs. Intercontinental Migration: An Empirical Analysis of the Impacts of Immigration Reforms on Burkina Faso," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 299, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:299-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Tschirley, David & Reardon, Thomas, 2016. "Impact on Employment and Migration of Structural and Rural Transformation," Food Security International Development Working Papers 245895, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

    More about this item


    Burkina Faso; Burkina-Faso; immigration policy; labour supply; migration; migration; offre de travail; politiques d’immigration; remittances; transferts d’argent;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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