Returns to Low-Skilled International Migration: Evidence from a Bangladesh-Malaysia Migration Lottery
Speaker(s)Mushfiq Mobarak (Yale University, United States)
Date and time
March 23, 2021
16:00 - 17:00
We follow 3,512 participants of a government lottery that provided visas to Bangladeshis for low-skilled work in Malaysia. The migration opportunity generates large positive effects on income, consumption, assets, and debt position for the worker's family left behind. The migrant's absence pauses demographic changes (delaying marriage, childbirth), and shifts decision-making power towards females. Migration removes entrepreneurial individuals, lowering household entrepreneurship in Bangladesh, but does not crowd out family members' labor supply. From a program implementation quirk we learn that improved migration prospects (without actual travel) induces pre-migration investments in skills that could generate returns abroad, but don’t in the domestic market. Joint with Iffath Sharif and Maheshwor Shrestha.