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Experimental Approaches in Migration Studies

28 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016  

David J. McKenzie

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Dean Yang

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics

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Date Written: August 1, 2010

Abstract

The decision of whether or not to migrate has far-reaching consequences for the lives of individuals and their families. But the very nature of this choice makes identifying the impacts of migration difficult, since it is hard to measure a credible counterfactual of what the person and their household would have been doing had migration not occurred. Migration experiments provide a clear and credible way for identifying this counterfactual, and thereby allowing causal estimation of the impacts of migration. The authors provide an overview and critical review of the three strands of this approach: policy experiments, natural experiments, and researcher-led field experiments. The purpose is to introduce readers to the need for this approach, give examples of where it has been applied in practice, and draw out lessons for future work in this area.

Keywords: Population Policies, Access to Finance, Remittances, Anthropology, Debt Markets

Suggested Citation

McKenzie, David J. and Yang, Dean, Experimental Approaches in Migration Studies (August 1, 2010). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5395. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1653199

David McKenzie (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
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Washington, DC 20433
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Dean Yang

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

440 Lorch Hall
611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
734-764-6158 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.umich.edu/~deanyang/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

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