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A profile of the world's young developing country migrants

  • McKenzie, David J.

The paper uses individual level census and household survey data to present a rich profile of the young developing migrants around the world. Youth are found to comprise a large share of all migrants, particularly in migration to other developing countries, with the probability of migration peaking in the late teens or early twenties. The paper examines in detail the age and gender composition of migrants, whether young migrants move alone or with a parent or spouse, their participation in schooling and work in the destination country, the types of jobs they do, and the age of return migration. The results suggest a high degree of commonality in the youth migrant experience across a number of destination countries. In particular, developing country youth tend to work in similar occupations all around the world, and are more concentrated in these occupations than older migrants or native youth. Nevertheless, there is also considerable heterogeneity among youth migrants: 29 percent of 18 to 24 year olds are attending school in their destination country, but another 29 percent are not working or in school. This illustrates both the potential of migration for building human capital, and the fear that lack of integration prevents it from being used.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4021.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4021
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  1. McKenzie, David J., 2003. "How do Households Cope with Aggregate Shocks? Evidence from the Mexican Peso Crisis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1179-1199, July.
  2. HwaJung Choi, 2007. "Are Remittances Insurance? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in the Philippines," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 219-248, May.
  3. Holzmann, Robert, 2005. "Demographic Alternatives for Aging Industrial Countries: Increased Total Fertility Rate, Labor Force Participation, or Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 1885, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Stark, Oded & Bloom, David E, 1985. "The New Economics of Labor Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 173-78, May.
  5. Stark, Oded & Levhari, David, 1982. "On Migration and Risk in LDCs," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 191-96, October.
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