Project information
PMMA-12379 Estimating economic effects of emigration and remittances on the left-behind in Cambodia


Using propensity score matching with the 2009 Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey of households, the study examines the effects of emigration and remittances on a number of households’ well-being indicators: poverty, labour participation of non-migrant members and paddy productivity. The theoretical framework of the paper is built upon a “new economics of labour migration” hypothesising that the emigration decision is jointly determined by households and individual migrants and that remittances are contractual arrangements between them. The results indicate that households with at least one migrant member (with or without receiving remittances) could reduce their headcount poverty rate by 2-5 percentage points vis-à-vis their matched controls. However, emigration and remittances do not help the poorest of the poor, for it is not necessary that poor households send migrant members. On the contrary, emigration (remittances) generates a “dependency effect” due to reduced weekly hours worked of 5-9 percent by adult working age who are employed and decreased salary earning. The study finds mixed evidence of the impact on paddy productivity of migrant-sending households. There is also inconclusive evidence of investment effects of remittances on inputs (fertilizer, energy and manpower). The impacts of emigration and remittances on labour participation and paddy production (productivity and the use of inputs) are vulnerable to unconfounding factors.

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 Vutha Hing
 PHANN Dalis  |  Roth T.M.S Vathana  |  Sreymom Sum  |
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Working Paper
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External publications