Thursday, December 29, 2011

Recent Remittance and Migration Studies.

As a consequence of the global economic crisis, 2009 marked a hiccup in the trend of increasing remittance flows to developing countries. In most parts of the world, the growth rate of remittances was indeed negative. But what is striking is that there was an inverse relationship between remittances and unemployment. In other words, the greater the drop in remittances, the higher was the increase in the unemployment rate. In Moldova, for instance, remittances decreased by 36% in 2009, while the unemployment rate increased by 61%. By contrast, in Fiji, remittances increased by 24% and unemployment dropped by 7%.
Source: People Move

Impacts of Green Card Lottery on Ethiopian Households (HT: Development Impact).
Since migrants are typically positively selected (Chiswick, 1999Chiquiar and Hanson, 2005;McKenzie etal, 2006), non-experimental estimates of the effects of emigration may be biased if there are concerns with the identifying assumptions...

... In my job market paper, I add to the literature by focusing on migrants from an extremely poor country – Ethiopia – who are randomly assigned the possibility of migration through the United States’ Diversity Visa lottery. My analysis is based on a specially designed survey (which I conducted) of households of previous DV lottery winners and lottery participants in Addis Ababa – the Ethiopian capital.   I use comparisons between the lottery winners and the (non-winning) participants to infer the causal effects of having a family member migrate to the U.S....

...The study finds that having a family member win the lottery and migrate has significant positive effects on several dimensions of the remaining family’s standard of living. Families of DV migrants spend about 30% more on food, are thus better fed and have higher body mass indexes. Moreover, families of winners possess more and better quality consumer durables, which include personal computers, modern cooking stoves, household furniture and home entertainment appliances. Having a family member who won the DV lottery also gives families access to improved sources of drinking water and sanitation facilities. Winners’ families, however, have about the same savings and physical capital accumulation as other families. Most of the positive effects of emigration appear to be on the consumption side of the family budget.

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