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Self-Employment and Migration

Author

Listed:
  • Giambra,Samuele
  • Mckenzie,David J.

Abstract

There is a widespread policy view that a lack of job opportunities at home is a key reason for migration, accompanied by suggestions of the need to spend more on creating these opportunities to reduce migration. Self-employment is widespread in poor countries, and faced with a lack of existing jobs, providing more opportunities for people to start businesses is a key policy option. But empirical evidence to support this idea is slight, and economic theory offers several reasons why the self-employed may be more likely to migrate. This paper puts together panel surveys from eight countries to descriptively examine the relationship between migration and self-employment, finding that the self-employed are indeed less likely to migrate than wage workers or the unemployed. The paper then analyzes seven randomized experiments that increased self-employment, and finds that their causal impacts on migration are negative on average, but often small in magnitude.

Suggested Citation

  • Giambra,Samuele & Mckenzie,David J., 2019. "Self-Employment and Migration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9007, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:9007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jules Gazeaud & Eric Mvukiyehe & Olivier Sterck, 2019. "Cash Transfers and Migration: Theory and Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," CSAE Working Paper Series 2019-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment and Unemployment; Educational Sciences; Private Sector Economics; Private Sector Development Law; Marketing; Labor Markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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