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Surveying migrant households : a comparison of census-based, snowball, and intercept point surveys

  • McKenzie, David J.
  • Mistiaen, Johan

Few representative surveys of households of migrants exist, limiting the analysis of the effects of international migration on sending families. This paper reports the results of an experiment designed to compare the performance of three alternative survey methods in collecting data from Japanese-Brazilian families, many of whom send migrants to Japan. The three surveys conducted were 1) Households selected randomly from a door-to-door listing using the Brazilian Census to select census blocks; 2) A snowball survey using Nikkei community groups to select the seeds; and 3) An intercept point survey collected at Nikkei community gatherings, ethnic grocery stores, sports clubs, and other locations where family members of migrants are likely to congregate. The authors analyze how closely well-designed snowball and intercept point surveys can approach the much more expensive census-based method in terms of giving information on the characteristics of migrants, the level of remittances received, and the incidence and determinants of return migration.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4419.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4419
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  1. Junichi Goto, 2006. "Latin Americans of the Japanese Origin (Nikkeijin) Working in Japan --- A survey," Discussion Paper Series 185, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  2. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2006. "How important is selection ? Experimental versus non-experimental measures of the income gains from migration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3906, The World Bank.
  3. Osili, Una Okonkwo, 2007. "Remittances and savings from international migration: Theory and evidence using a matched sample," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 446-465, July.
  4. Douglas Massey & Audrey Singer, 1995. "New Estimates of Undocumented Mexican Migration and the Probability of Apprehension," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 203-213, May.
  5. Tsuda, Takeyuki, 1999. "The Motivation to Migrate: The Ethnic and Sociocultural Constitution of the Japanese-Brazilian Return-Migration System," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 1-31, October.
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