Journal Issue: World Bank Economic Review, Volume 25, Issue 1

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Remittances and the Brain Drain Revisited : The Microdata Show That More Educated Migrants Remit More
(World Bank, 2011-01-30) Bollard, Albert ; McKenzie, David ; Morten, Melanie ; Rapoport, Hillel
Two of the most salient trends in migration and development over the last two decades are the large rise in remittances and in the flow of skilled migrants. However, recent literature based on cross-country regressions has claimed that more educated migrants remit less, leading to concerns that further increases in skilled migration will impede remittance growth. Microdata from surveys of immigrants in 11 major destination countries are used to revisit the relationship between education and remitting behavior. The data show a mixed pattern between education and the likelihood of remitting, and a strong positive relationship between education and amount remitted (intensive margin), conditional on remitting at all (extensive margin). Combining these intensive and extensive margins yields an overall positive effect of education on the amount remitted for the pooled sample, with heterogeneous results across destinations. The microdata allow investigation of why the more educated remit more, showing that the higher income earned by migrants, rather than family characteristics, explains much of the higher remittances.
Five Questions on International Migration and Development
(World Bank, 2011-01-30) Özden, Çağlar ; Rapoport, Hillel ; Schiff, Maurice
The movement of people in search of better economic conditions and a more secure environment is as old as human history. Such movements not only profoundly affect the lives of the migrants, but also lead to significant economic and social transformations in migrants' countries of origin and destination. In recent years, a significant increase in the growth of international migration and remittance flows and in awareness of their development impact has led to a resurgence of interest by academics, policymakers, and analysts in what has been referred to as the third leg of globalization (the other two being international trade and international capital flows). The renewed interest in international migration led the World Bank Development Research Group to initiate the Research Program on International Migration and Development in 2003. More recently, the Research Department of the Agence française de Développement (AFD) and the World Bank Development Research Group have collaborated on several research projects and conferences. This symposium issue gathers some of the papers presented at the Second International Migration and Development Conference, held at the World Bank in Washington, DC, on September 10–11, 2009. The success of the conference series and the commitment of the World Bank and AFD to sponsoring the conferences reflect the recognition by international development agencies and the academic community of the importance of international migration to the development agenda. The five articles in this symposium issue fall into two groups. A first group of three articles deal with the measurement, determinants, and political effects of international migration. A new global bilateral migration database for 1960–2000 ( Özden and others 2011) updates and extends the Parsons and others (2007) database back to 1960.
Where on Earth is Everybody? The Evolution of Global Bilateral Migration 1960–2000
(World Bank, 2011-01-30) Özden, Çağlar ; Parsons, Christopher R. ; Schiff, Maurice ; Walmsley, Terrie L.
Global matrices of bilateral migrant stocks spanning 1960–2000 are presented, disaggregated by gender and based primarily on the foreign-born definition of migrants. More than one thousand census and population register records are combined to construct decennial matrices corresponding to the five census rounds between 1960 and 2000. For the first time, a comprehensive picture of bilateral global migration over the second half of the 20th century emerges. The data reveal that the global migrant stock increased from 92 million in 1960 to 165 million in 2000. Quantitatively, migration between developing countries dominates, constituting half of all international migration in 2000. When the partition of India and the dissolution of the Soviet Union are accounted for, migration between developing countries is remarkably stable over the period. Migration from developing to developed countries is the fastest growing component of international migration in both absolute and relative terms. The United States has remained the most important migrant destination in the world, home to one fifth of the world's migrants and the top destination for migrants from some 60 sending countries. Migration to Western Europe has come largely from elsewhere in Europe. The oil-rich Persian Gulf countries emerge as important destinations for migrants from the Middle East and North Africa and South and Southeast Asia. Finally, although the global migrant stock is predominantly male, the proportion of female migrants increased noticeably between 1960 and 2000. The number of women rose in every region except South Asia.
Immigration Policies and the Ecuadorian Exodus
(World Bank, 2011-01-30) Bertoli, Simone ; Moraga, Jesús Fernández-Huertas ; Ortega, Francesc
Ecuador recently experienced an unprecedented wave of emigration following the severe economic crisis of the late 1990s. Individual-level data for Ecuador and its two main migration destinations, Spain and the United States, are used to examine the size and skill composition of these migration flows and the role of wage differences in accounting for these features. Estimations of earnings regressions for Ecuadorians in all three countries show substantially larger income gains following migration to the United States than to Spain, with the wage differential increasing with migrants' education level. While this finding can account for the pattern of positive sorting in education toward the United States, it fails to explain why most Ecuadorians opted for Spain. The explanation for this preference appears to lie in Spain's visa waiver program for Ecuadorians. When the program was abruptly terminated, monthly inflows of Ecuadorians to Spain declined immediately.
Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment
(World Bank, 2011-01-30) Batista, Catia ; Vicente, Pedro C.
Can international migration promote better institutions at home by raising the demand for political accountability? A behavioral measure of the population's desire for better governance was designed to examine this question. A postcard was distributed to households promising that if enough postcards were mailed back, results from a survey module on perceived corruption would be published in the national media. Data from a tailored household survey were used to examine the determinants of this behavioral measure of demand for political accountability (undertaking the costly action of mailing the postcard) and to isolate the positive effect of international emigration using locality-level variation. The estimated effects are robust to the use of instrumental variables, including past migration and macro shocks in the destination countries. The estimated effects can be attributed mainly to migrants who emigrated to countries with better governance, especially migrants who return home.
What Explains the Price of Remittances? An Examination Across 119 Country Corridors
(World Bank, 2011-01-30) Beck, Thorsten ; Martínez Pería, María Soledad
Remittances are a substantial source of external financing for developing countries that influence many aspects of their development. Though research has shown that remittances are both expensive and price sensitive, little is known about what explains their price. Newly gathered data across 119 country pairs or corridors are used to explore the factors associated with the price of remittances. Corridors with larger numbers of migrants and more competition among providers are found to exhibit lower prices for remittances, when average prices across all types of remittance service providers are considered. Corridors with lower barriers to access banking services and broader regulation of remittance service providers also have lower prices. Remittance prices are higher in richer corridors and in corridors with greater bank participation in the remittance market. Few significant differences emerge when results are compared across banks and, separately, across money transfer operators. However, estimations for Western Union, a leading player in the remittances business, suggest that its prices are less sensitive to competition.