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Migration, remittances and labour force participation: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa — Adesola Sunmoni (Economics PhD seminar)
One in seven people globally, live and work outside their region or country of origin. Labour migration is a complex phenomenon that has significant implications for the sending families and countries as well as the receiving regions and countries. While there is considerable literature on the effect of migration at destination, little is known about the effect at the region or country of origin. This paper seeks to contribute to the literature by estimating the causal effect of migration on the labour force participation of non-migrating household members. In particular, this study exploits intrahousehold relationships to investigate how the relationship of the migrant to the left behind household member affects their labour force participation. Using data from the African Migration Project and Fixed Effects methods, this paper finds that the migration of a husband or wife increases the likelihood that the non-migrating spouse will join the labour force. However, we also find that the migration of children, parents and siblings has no significant effect on the labour force participation of the left behind household members. Perhaps, the most surprising result is that the identity of the migrant (I.e. spouse, child or parent) has no significant effect on the labour force participation of the left behind household members.