Migration and Poverty: Toward Better Opportunities for the Poor
Five papers analyze the bidirectional relationship between poverty and migration in developing countries. Papers discuss the patterns of migration in Tanzania (Kathleen Beegle, Joachim De Weerdt, and Stefan Dercon); work-related migration and poverty reduction in Nepal (Michael Lokshin, Mikhail Bontch-Osmolovski, and Elena Glinskaya); the evolution of Albanian migration and its role in poverty reduction (Carlo Azzarri, Gero Carletto, Benjamin Davis, and Alberto Zezza); migration choices, inequality of opportunities, and poverty reduction in Nicaragua (Edmundo Murrugarra and Catalina Herrera); and how developing country governments can facilitate international migration for poverty reduction (John Gibson and David McKenzie). Murrugarra is Senior Economist in the Latin America and Caribbean Region at the World Bank. Larrison is a PhD candidate and Assistant Teacher in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University. Sasin is Economist in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Department at the World Bank. Index.
The goal of this chapter is to provide empirical evidence of the effect of differential migration strategies on poverty in Nepal. We model the effect of remittances and work migration on consumption of households with a migrants. Using the cross-sectional sample of the nationally representative Nepal Living Standart Survey of 2004, we estimate a model of household migration decisions jointly with the consumption equations by the method of full information maximum likelihood (FIML) with instrumental variables. The method takes into account unobserved household characteristics that could simultaneously affect household migration decisions and household income. We simulate counterfactual expenditure distributions to determine the effect of work-related migration on the levels of aggregate poverty and inequality in Nepal. While most of the recent papers on the effect of migration on inequality and poverty have controlled for heterogeneity and selection in terms of unobserved characteristics, to the best of our knowledge this is the first study using FIML to estimate the trivariate selection model in this context. The novelty of the study resides on separating different effects of domestic and international migration on household welfare.