IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

International economic assistance and migration: the case of Sub-Saharan countries

Listed author(s):
  • Belloc, Filippo

Development aid is commonly advocated as one of the most effective instruments to reduce international migration. Nevertheless, empirical evidence shows that push factors do not automatically result in massive migrations and that aid policies systematically fail to meet their stated objectives. Recently, several contributions have argued that an increase in sending countries’ wealth may lead to a rise in migration, rather than to a reduction, because it enables people to assume the costs and risks of migrating. However, despite the growing number of studies on this phenomenon, the role played by Official Development Assistance (ODA) has not received attention yet. This paper is aimed at providing empirical evidence on this specific issue. In particular, we investigate the relation between ODA and international migration rates of Sub-Saharan countries. We argue that ODA may have a positive effect on migration decisions for two reasons. First, ODA improves workers’ ability to cover the costs of migration, by providing new job opportunities and in turn increasing incomes in the recipient country. Second, ODA, that is often associated with development programs in education, communication services and business opportunities, may also stimulate mobility aspirations of potential migrants. We develop an econometric analysis in order to investigate this hypothesis. Specifically, we perform a three-stage least square estimation on a sample of 48 Sub-Saharan countries. We build a two-equation model, so as to allow for endogeneity of ODA, and find that ODA has a positive and statistically significant effect on migration outflows. Thus, as our main contribution, we argue that development aids are not substitute for migration and that the traditional aid policies (such as those of the European Union), aimed at curbing migration by providing international financial aids, might need to be reconsidered.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 17290.

in new window

Date of creation: 20 Oct 2008
Date of revision: 15 Aug 2009
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17290
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17290. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.