Do natural disasters beget fraud victimization?: Unrealized coping through labor migration among the poor
Although international remittances are important insurance against natural disasters in developing countries, fraud is a pitfall of international labor migration. This paper addresses an unexplored question about the disaster-fraud nexus: Do natural disasters beget fraud victimization among the poor as they seek labor migration for coping? I exploit a natural experiment: Two years after a cyclone, a huge number of Fijian males were defrauded of application fees for labor migration to the Middle East in 2005. My household survey data, which by chance I collected before the fraudulence was noticed, are free from underreporting/misreporting out of embarrassment. Controlling for the endogeneity of household housing damage reveals that housing damage strongly increases individual memberfs job application that later turned out to be fraud victimization. Households resort to high-risk, highreturn labor migration because their domestic coping options are constrained by their labor endowment.
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