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Temporary work visas as US-Haiti development cooperation: a preliminary impact evaluation

Michael A. Clemens () and Hannah Postel
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Michael A. Clemens: Center for Global Development
Hannah Postel: Center for Global Development

IZA Journal of Labor & Development, 2017, vol. 6, issue 1, 1-18

Abstract: Abstract We report a small-sample, preliminary evaluation of the economic impact of temporary overseas work by Haitian agricultural workers. This work occurs in the USA in the context of a pilot program designed as a form of post-disaster development assistance to Haiti. We find that the effects of matching new seasonal agricultural jobs in the USA with Haitian workers differs markedly from the effects of more traditional forms of assistance to Haiti, in three ways: the economic benefits are shared roughly equally between Haiti and the USA; these benefits are very large, including raising the value of Haitian workers’ labor by a multiple of 15; and the portion of the benefits accruing to Haiti is uncommonly well targeted for the direct benefit of poor Haitian households. We discuss implementation challenges faced by the program and the potential for policies of this kind to complement more traditional forms of development and humanitarian assistance. JEL Classification: F22, O15, O22, R23

Date: 2017
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