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The Impacts of International Migration on Remaining Household Members: Omnibus Results from a Migration Lottery Program

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

No 4375, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract: The impacts of international migration on development in the sending countries, and especially the effects on remaining household members, are increasingly studied. However, comparisons of households in developing countries with and without migrants are complicated by a double-selectivity problem: households self-select into migration, and among households involved in migration, some send a subset of members with the rest remaining whilst other households migrate en masse. We address these selectivity issues using the randomization provided by an immigration ballot under the Pacific Access Category (PAC) of New Zealand's immigration policy. We survey applicants to the 2002-05 PAC ballots in Tonga and compare outcomes for the remaining household members of emigrants with those for members of similar households who were unsuccessful in the ballots. The immigration laws determine which household members can accompany the principal migrant, providing an instrument to address the second selectivity issue. Using this natural experiment we examine the myriad impacts that migration has on remaining household members, focussing on labor supply, income, durable assets, financial service usage, diet and physical and mental health and use multiple hypothesis testing procedures to examine which impacts are robust. We find the overall impact on households left behind to be largely negative. We also find evidence that both sources of selectivity matter, leading studies which fail to adequately address them to misrepresent the impact of migration.

Keywords: remittances; selectivity; natural experiment; emigration; wellbeing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J61 F22 C21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mig
Date: 2009-08
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2011, 93 (4), 1297-1318

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Related works:
Journal Article: The Impacts of International Migration on Remaining Household Members: Omnibus Results from a Migration Lottery Program (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: The Impacts of International Migration on Remaining Household Members: Omnibus Results from a Migration Lottery Program (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: The impacts of international migration on remaining household members: omnibus results from a migration lottery program (2009) Downloads
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