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Estimating the Net Effects of Migration and Remittances on Poverty and Inequality: Comparison of Fiji and Tonga


  • Brown, Richard P.C.
  • Jimenez, Eliana


We use original 2005 household survey data from Fiji and Tonga to estimate the impact of migration and remittances on income distribution and measures of poverty, after controlling for selectivity in migration and endogeneity in the relationship between remittances and income. Measures of inequality and poverty based on actual, with-migration income and remittances are then compared with those based on a no-migration scenario. Counterfactual household incomes are estimated, taking account of what the migrant members would have earned had they not migrated. The results are compared with alternative income estimates in which remittances are treated simplistically as exogenous transfers. The positive effects of migration and remittances on poverty alleviation and income distribution are found to be stronger when the more rigorous, counterfactual income estimates are used.

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  • Brown, Richard P.C. & Jimenez, Eliana, 2007. "Estimating the Net Effects of Migration and Remittances on Poverty and Inequality: Comparison of Fiji and Tonga," WIDER Working Paper Series 023, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2007-23

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    1. Hagenaars, Aldi J M & van Praag, Bernard M S, 1985. "A Synthesis of Poverty Line Definitions," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 31(2), pages 139-154, June.
    2. Adams, Richard H, Jr, 1989. "Worker Remittances and Inequality in Rural Egypt," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 45-71, October.
    3. Stark, Oded & Levhari, David, 1982. "On Migration and Risk in LDCs," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 191-196, October.
    4. Ravallion, M., 1998. "Poverty Lines in Theory and Practice," Papers 133, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karam Fida, 2010. "When Migrant Remittances Are Not Everlasting: How Can Morocco Make Up?," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-38, July.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12802 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Margolis, David N. & Miotti, Luis & Mouhoud, El Mouhoub & Oudinet, Joël, 2013. ""To Have and Have Not": Migration, Remittances, Poverty and Inequality in Algeria," IZA Discussion Papers 7747, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Randall Akee, Devesh Kapur, 2012. "Remittances and Rashomon- Working Paper 285," Working Papers 285, Center for Global Development.
    5. Yaw Nyarko & Kwabena Gyimah-Brempon, 2011. "Social Safety Nets: The Role of Education, Remittances and Migration," RSCAS Working Papers 2011/26, European University Institute.
    6. Kimberly Beaton & Svetlana Cerovic & Misael Galdamez & Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov & Franz Loyola & Zsoka Koczan & Bogdan Lissovolik & Jan Kees Martijn & Yulia Ustyugova & Joyce Wong, 2017. "Migration and Remittances in Latin America and the Caribbean; Engines of Growth and Macroeconomic Stabilizers?," IMF Working Papers 17/144, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Bouoiyour, Jamal & Miftah, Amal, 2014. "Les transferts de fonds réduisent-ils la pauvreté et les inégalités de revenus? Une vérification empirique à travers une enquête dans le milieu rural marocain
      [Remittances, Poverty and Income Inequ
      ," MPRA Paper 57052, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Jamal Bouyiour & Amal Miftah, 2015. "The impact of migrant workers' remittances on the living standards of families in Morocco: A propensity score matching approach," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 12(1), pages 13-27, January.
    9. Beyene, Berhe Mekonnen, 2012. "The Effects of International Remittances on Poverty and Inequality in Ethiopia," Memorandum 13/2012, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    10. Chakra P. Acharya & Roberto Leon-Gonzalez, 2012. "The Impact of Remittance on Poverty and Inequality: A Micro-Simulation Study for Nepal," GRIPS Discussion Papers 11-26, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    11. repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00907035 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Laetitia Duval & François-Charles Wolff, 2013. "The consumption-enhancing effect of remittances: Evidence from Kosovo," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 107, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    13. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12589 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Ilan Kelman, 2010. "Introduction to climate, disasters and international development," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 208-217.
    15. Moises Neil V. Serino & Donghun Kim, 2011. "How Do International Remittances Affect Poverty In Developing Countries? A Quantile Regression Analysis," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 36(4), pages 17-40, December.
    16. Diagne, Youssoupha S & Diane, Fatou, 2008. "Impact Des Transferts Des Migrants Sur La Pauvreté Au Sénégal
      [Impact of international workers' remittances on poverty in Senegal]
      ," MPRA Paper 54866, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Chakra P. ACHARYA & Roberto LEON-GONZALEZ, 2013. "The Impact of Remittance on Poverty and Inequality: A Micro-Simulation Study for Nepal," Asian Journal of Empirical Research, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 3(9), pages 1061-1080, September.
    18. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13287 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Bouoiyour, Jamal & Miftah, Amal, 2014. "The effects of remittances on poverty and inequality: Evidence from rural southern Morocco," MPRA Paper 55686, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. repec:dau:papers:123456789/14683 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Richard P.C. Brown & Gareth Leeves, 2007. "Impacts of International Migration and Remittances on Source Country Household Incomes in Small Island States; Fiji and Tonga," Working Papers 07-13, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
    22. Richard Brown & Gareth Leeves & Prabha Prayaga, 2012. "An analysis of recent survey data on the remittances of Pacific island migrants in Australia," Discussion Papers Series 457, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    23. Jamal Bouoiyour & Amal Miftah, 2014. "Household Welfare, International Migration And Children Time Allocation In Rural Morocco," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 39(2), pages 75-95, June.
    24. Duval, Laetitia & Wolff, François-Charles, 2015. "Ethnicity and remittances: Evidence from Kosovo," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 334-349.


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