Source: Economic Research Forum
Author(s): Anda David, Joachim Jarreau
This paper analyzes the determinants of emigration at the individual and household level, using three waves of the Egyptian labor market panel survey (ELMPS) covering the 1998-2012 period. Exploiting the panel structure of the data allows us to reduce the risk of reverse causality, and to estimate the effect of migrant networks more accurately than in existing studies based on cross-sectional data. We confirm, in the Egyptian context, that migrants abroad are positively selected on the wealth of the origin household, due to migration costs; and that the growth of a network of past emigrants from the same community mitigates this positive selection, increasing the propensity to migrate among poorer households. We also offer a novel insight on the linkages between emigration decision and home country’s labor market conditions. We show that unemployment and informal employment appear as the main incentives to emigrate. This suggests that the scarcity of “quality jobs”, in particular on the skilled labor market, is one important factor driving emigration flows in Egypt…
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