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“Stay With Us?” The Impact of Emigration on Wages in Honduras

  • Jason Gagnon

While the econometric literature on the impact of immigration on labour markets is well developed, there is a striking gap with regards to the impact of emigration on sending countries. Building on the established literature measuring the impact of immigration, this paper attempts to narrow that gap by investigating whether the short but intense emigration period from Honduras from 2001 to 2007 to the U.S. increased wages in Honduras. It notably exploits the variation of labour supply by skill group in the labour market in the years following Hurricane Mitch. Relying on individual cross-sectional data and an instrumental variable approach, the estimates show that a 10% increase in emigration from Honduras increased wages in Honduras by around 10%, an increase which is higher than previous findings in other countries – but diminishing over time. It also provides evidence on implications in terms of redistribution by gender, rural/urban households and private sector workers. Alors que la littérature économique portant sur l’impact de l’immigration sur les marchés du travail est largement développée, il existe un déficit notable concernant l’impact de l’émigration sur le pays d’origine. A partir de la littérature mesurant l’impact de l’immigration, cet article vise à combler ce déficit en étudiant si la période d’émigration, à la fois courte mais intense, entre le Honduras et les États-Unis de 2001 à 2007 a entraîné une augmentation des salaires au Honduras. Il exploite notamment la variation d’offre de travail par groupe de compétences sur le marché du travail pour les années suivant l’ouragan Mitch. Fondées sur des données transversales individuelles et une approche reposant sur des variables instrumentales, les estimations montrent qu’une augmentation de 10% de l’émigration provenant du Honduras accroit les salaires honduriens de près de 10%, une augmentation supérieure à des résultats antérieurs pour d’autres pays – mais qui diminue au cours du temps. Les implications en termes de redistributions au niveau du genre, des ménages ruraux/urbains et des travailleurs privés sont aussi développées.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 300.

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Date of creation: 07 Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:300-en
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