Saturday, March 2, 2013

Female migrants and income thresholds

An interesting study based on household data in Sri Lanka by Sanjaya DeSilva. The author finds that while households with female migrants experience enhanced catching up in terms of income level, households with male migrants see their economic position strengthened. Also, remittances from female migrants are used for home improvements and farm and nonfarm assets accumulation. Excerpt from the study is below:

Utilizing a nationally representative sample of households from Sri Lanka, this study examines gender differences in the long-term impact of temporary labor migration. We use a propensity score matching (PSM) framework to compare households with return migrants, households with current migrants, and equivalent nonmigrant households in terms of a variety of outcomes. Our results show that households that send women abroad are relatively poor and utilize migration to catch up with the average household, whereas sending a man abroad allows an already advantaged household to further strengthen their economic position. We also find that remittances from females emphasize investment in home improvements and acquisition of farm land and nonfarm assets, whereas remittances of men are channeled more toward housing assets and business ventures.