The Impact of Migration on Family Left Behind: Estimation in Presence of Intra-Household Selection of Migrants
46 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2019
This paper reexamines the literature on the impact of migration on household members left behind at origin. The empirical problem previous studies address is the self-selection of households into migration, i.e. the endogenous decision as to whether or not send a migrant. Yet, the subsequent selection of which family members migrate and which stay behind generates additional identification problems that have remained largely ignored.To tackle this second form of selectivity within the households, I model the behavior of families using latent stratification and potential outcome (Imbens and Angrist, 1994; Rubin, 1974). I show that the point-identification of the causal impact of migration requires strong behavioral assumptions rarely satisfied even with ideal experimental data. As a practical solution, I derive non parametric bounds under different sets of weaker assumptions. Using Mexican panel data, I show that standard estimates ignoring the intra-household selection into migration may suffer from substantial bias.
Keywords: selectivity, migration, sample selection, bounds, principal stratification
JEL Classification: C21, F22, J61, O15
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