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The long-term impact of international migration on economic decision-making: Evidence from a migration lottery and lab-in-the-field experiments

John Gibson (), David McKenzie (), Halahingano Rohorua and Steven Stillman ()

Journal of Development Economics, 2019, vol. 138, issue C, 99-115

Abstract: We study how migrating from a poor country to a rich country affects economic beliefs, preference parameters, and household decision-making efficiency. In a ten-year follow-up survey of applicants to a migration lottery program we elicit risk and time preferences and pro-market beliefs for the migrants and the unsuccessful applicants. The successful and the unsuccessful applicants are each linked to closest relative households, who would stay in the home country if the applicant moved, to play lab-in-the-field games that measure intra-family trust and the efficiency of intra-family decision-making. Despite the large permanent income shock from migrating, there are no significant impacts on risk and time preferences, pro-market beliefs, or decision-making efficiency of transnational households. This stability in the face of such a large and life-changing event lend credence to economic models of migration that treat these determinants of decision-making as time-invariant.

Keywords: Economic beliefs; Household efficiency; Migration; Risk preferences; Trust (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 D81 F22 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Related works:
Working Paper: The Long-Term Impact of International Migration on Economic Decision-Making: Evidence from a Migration Lottery and Lab-in-the-Field Experiments (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The Long-Term Impact of International Migration on Economic Decision-Making: Evidence from a Migration Lottery and Lab-in-the-Field Experiments (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The long-term impact of international migration on economic decision-making: evidence from a migration lottery and lab-in-the-field experiments (2016) Downloads
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