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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Gagnon, 2011. "“Stay With Us?” The Impact of Emigration on Wages in Honduras," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 300, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:300-en
    DOI: 10.1787/5kg9xf23zfbt-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Anna De Paoli & Mariapia Mendola, 2014. "International Labor Mobility and Child Work in Developing Countries," Development Working Papers 365, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 07 Apr 2014.
    2. Elsner, Benjamin, 2013. "Emigration and wages: The EU enlargement experiment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 154-163.
    3. Kahanec, Martin, 2012. "Skilled Labor Flows: Lessons from the European Union," IZA Research Reports 49, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Benjamin Elsner, 2013. "Does emigration benefit the stayers? Evidence from EU enlargement," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 531-553, April.
    5. Clemens, Michael A., 2017. "Violence, Development and Migration Waves: Evidence from Central American Child Migrant Apprehensions," IZA Discussion Papers 10928, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence Kahn, 2013. "Immigration and the Distribution of Incomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 4561, CESifo.
    7. Costin-Alexandru Ciupureanu, 2014. "Does Emigration Affects Wages? A Case Study on Romania," Finante - provocarile viitorului (Finance - Challenges of the Future), University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 1(16), pages 177-181, December.
    8. Paul, Saumik, 2018. "The Effect of Emigration on Household Labor Supply: Evidence from Central Asia and South Caucasus," ADBI Working Papers 822, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    9. Prachi Mishra, 2014. "Emigration and wages in source countries: a survey of the empirical literature," Chapters, in: Robert E.B. Lucas (ed.),International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 9, pages 241-266, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Anna De Paoli & Mariapia Mendola, 2017. "International Migration and Child labour in Developing Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 678-702, April.
    11. Benjamin Elsner, 2015. "Does emigration increase the wages of non-emigrants in sending countries?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 208-208, November.
    12. Ouyang, Alice Y. & Paul, Saumik, 2018. "The effect of skilled emigration on real exchange rates through the wage channel," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 139-153.
    13. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 2012. "Immigration and the Distribution of Incomes," IZA Discussion Papers 6921, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. De Paoli, Anna & Mendola, Mariapia, 2014. "International Labor Mobility and Child Work in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8066, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item


    Amérique Centrale; Central America; development; développement; force de travail; Honduras; Honduras; international emigration; labour force; salaires; wages; émigration internationale;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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