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Seasonal Migration and Improving Living Standards in Vietnam

  • Tomoko Harigaya

    (Innovation for Poverty Action)

  • Alan de Brauw

    (Williams College)

We use panel data methods to explore whether households in Vietnam used seasonal migration to increase their living standards during the 1990s. Using per capita expenditures as our primary measure of living standards and historical and latent network variables as instruments for migration, we can attribute 5.2 percentage points of annualized expenditure growth to increased migration. The results are robust to several alternative measures of living standards. As the estimates suggest migration accounts for a 3 percentage point decrease in the poverty headcount, we conclude migration played an important role in the improvement of living standards observed in Vietnam. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2004-10.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in American Journal of Agricultural Economics, May 2007, v. 89, iss. 2, pp. 430-47.
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2004-10
Contact details of provider: Postal: Williamstown, MA 01267
Phone: 413 597 2476
Fax: 413 597 4045
Web page: http://econ.williams.edu
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  1. Minot, Nicholas & Baulch, Bob, 2002. "The spatial distribution of poverty in Vietnam and the potential for targeting," MSSD discussion papers 42, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Stefan Dercon, 2004. "Growth and Shocks: evidence from rural Ethiopia," Development and Comp Systems 0409036, EconWPA.
  3. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 897-930, October.
  4. Newey, Whitney K., 1987. "Efficient estimation of limited dependent variable models with endogenous explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 231-250, November.
  5. Loren Brandt & Dwayne Benjamin, 2002. "Agriculture and Income Distribution in Rural Vietnam under Economic Reforms: A Tale of Two Regions," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 519, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  6. Ravallion, Martin & Van der Walle, Dominique, 2003. "Land allocation in Vietnam's agrarian transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2951, The World Bank.
  7. Barham, Bradford & Boucher, Stephen, 1998. "Migration, remittances, and inequality: estimating the net effects of migration on income distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 307-331, April.
  8. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  9. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  10. Taylor, J Edward & Rozelle, Scott & de Brauw, Alan, 2003. "Migration and Incomes in Source Communities: A New Economics of Migration Perspective from China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 75-101, October.
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