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The unintended consequences of migration policy on origin-country labor market decisions

Caroline Theoharides

Journal of Development Economics, 2020, vol. 142, issue C

Abstract: Due to concerns about human trafficking, Japan restricted the flow of Filipino migrants into performing arts jobs, effectively closing the Philippines' largest migration channel. I exploit heterogeneity in the impact of this migration restriction across the Philippines to examine the effect of circular migration on sending-country labor markets. I find a lack of fungibility in migration opportunities such that the restriction decreased migration from areas that sent entertainers to Japan. Labor force participation increased, income declined, and child labor increased. I document spillover effects to other migration opportunities, such that migration declines by more than the number of restricted entertainers.

Keywords: Migration; Labor markets; Philippines (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 F24 J61 O12 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.07.012

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:142:y:2020:i:c:s0304387818310307