IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/5488.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The development impact of a best practice seasonal worker policy

Author

Listed:
  • Gibson, John
  • McKenzie, David

Abstract

Seasonal migration programs are widely used around the world, and are increasingly seen as offering a potential"triple-win"-- benefiting the migrant, sending country, and receiving country. Yet there is a dearth of rigorous evidence as to their development impact, and concerns about whether the time periods involved are too short to realize much in the way of benefits, and whether poorer, less skilled households actually get to participate in such programs. This paper studies the development impacts of a recently introduced seasonal worker program that has been deemed to be"best practice."New Zealand's Recognized Seasonal Employer program was launched in 2007 with an explicit focus on development in the Pacific alongside the aim of benefiting employers at home. A multi-year prospective evaluation allows measurement of the impact of participation in this program on households and communities in Tonga and Vanuatu. Using a matched difference-in-differences analysis based on detailed surveys fielded before, during, and after participation, the authors find that the Recognized Seasonal Employer program has indeed had largely positive development impacts. It has increased income and consumption of households, allowed households to purchase more durable goods, increased the subjective standard of living, and had additional benefits at the community level. It also increased child schooling in Tonga. This should rank it among the most effective development policies evaluated to date. The policy was designed as a best practice example based on lessons elsewhere, and now should serve as a model for other countries to follow.

Suggested Citation

  • Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2010. "The development impact of a best practice seasonal worker policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5488, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5488
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2010/11/30/000158349_20101130131212/Rendered/PDF/WPS5488.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Richard K. Crump & V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Oscar A. Mitnik, 2009. "Dealing with limited overlap in estimation of average treatment effects," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 96(1), pages 187-199.
    2. David McKenzie & Pilar Garcia Martinez & L. Alan Winters, 2008. "Who is coming from Vanuatu to New Zealand under the new Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Program?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0806, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    3. Michael Clemens & Claudio Montenegro & Lant Pritchett, 2008. "The Place Premium: Wage Differences for Identical Workers across the U.S. Border," Working Papers 148, Center for Global Development.
    4. Martin Ravallion & Michael Lokshin, 2001. "Identifying Welfare Effects from Subjective Questions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(271), pages 335-357, August.
    5. Martin RUHS, 2006. "The potential of temporary migration programmes in future international migration policy," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 145(1-2), pages 7-36, March.
    6. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, December.
    7. Dehejia, Rajeev, 2005. "Practical propensity score matching: a reply to Smith and Todd," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 355-364.
    8. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, June.
    9. David S. Lee, 2009. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1071-1102.
    10. Macours, Karen & Vakis, Renos, 2010. "Seasonal Migration and Early Childhood Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 857-869, June.
    11. L. Alan Winters & Terrie L. Walmsley & Zhen Kun Wang & Roman Grynberg, 2003. "Liberalising Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: An Agenda for the Development Round," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(8), pages 1137-1161, August.
    12. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2001. "Identifying Welfare Effects from Subjective Questions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(271), pages 335-357, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. John Gibson & David Mckenzie, 2010. "The Development Impact of a Best Practice Seasonal Worker Policy: New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme," Working Papers in Economics 10/08, University of Waikato.
    2. Alan de Brauw & Valerie Mueller & Tassew Woldehanna, 2018. "Does Internal Migration Improve Overall Well-Being in Ethiopia?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 27(3), pages 367-367.
    3. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Halahingano Rohorua & Steven Stillman, 2018. "The Long-term Impacts of International Migration: Evidence from a Lottery," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 127-147.
    4. Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq & Sharif, Iffath & Shrestha, Maheshwor, 2021. "Returns to International Migration: Evidence from a Bangladesh-Malaysia Visa Lottery," IZA Discussion Papers 14232, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2005. "Unhappiness and Crime: Evidence from South Africa," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(287), pages 531-547, August.
    6. Ravallion, Martin, 2019. "Global inequality when unequal countries create unequal people," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 85-97.
    7. John Gibson, 2016. "Poverty Measurement: We Know Less than Policy Makers Realize," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 430-442, September.
    8. Simone Bertoli & Francesca Marchetta, 2014. "Migration, Remittances and Poverty in Ecuador," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(8), pages 1067-1089, August.
    9. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    10. Ekaterina Kalugina & Boris Najman, 2003. "Travail et pauvreté en Russie : évaluations objectives et perceptions subjectives," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 367(1), pages 83-100.
    11. Hidrobo, Melissa & Hoddinott, John & Peterman, Amber & Margolies, Amy & Moreira, Vanessa, 2014. "Cash, food, or vouchers? Evidence from a randomized experiment in northern Ecuador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 144-156.
    12. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch & Hugo Nopo, 2009. "Happiness and Beliefs in Criminal Environments," Research Department Publications 4605, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    13. Susanne Väth & Michael Kirk, 2014. "Do property rights and contract farming matter for rural development? Evidence from a large-scale investment in Ghana," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201416, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    14. Pudney, Stephen, 2011. "Perception and retrospection: The dynamic consistency of responses to survey questions on wellbeing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 300-310.
    15. Michael Lokshin & Nithin Umapathi & Stefano Paternostro, 2006. "Robustness of subjective welfare analysis in a poor developing country: Madagascar 2001," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(4), pages 559-591.
    16. Koen Decancq & Marc Fleurbaey & Erik Schokkaert, 2015. "Happiness, Equivalent Incomes and Respect for Individual Preferences," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82, pages 1082-1106, December.
    17. Martin Huber, 2010. "Identification of average treatment effects in social experiments under different forms of attrition," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-22, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    18. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard Van Praag, 2001. "Poverty in Russia," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 147-172, June.
    19. Carlos A. Flores & Oscar A. Mitnik, 2009. "Evaluating Nonexperimental Estimators for Multiple Treatments: Evidence from Experimental Data," Working Papers 2010-10, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    20. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping; Housing&Human Habitats; Population Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Anthropology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5488. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Roula I. Yazigi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.